Big Red and Old Yeller….

My brother, Will, handed out nicknames like candy when he was a teen. The names mentioned in the title, were my parents’ nicknames. I could never figure out why. My father was a gentle man who just did not scream at children. He was a storyteller. My mother used a slightly different motus oppourndi, a look that could kill, but she also had a fine pitching arm and a love of large books. That’s how you could gage just how angry mom was. If she threw her book, you were in major trouble. If she gave up her book she was serious. She had to share everything with us, her bed, her clothes and her food, so she drew the line at ther books. If she was reading a novel and you filched it to read it yourself, you had a death wish. Now, Dad he could get more accomplished with one look, than that of a world of beatings. And my Ma, she was a tiny little thing that ran his world. Not even because she tried to . It was almost thur omission. My motherwas a very quiet woman with  a rather dry sense of humor and a serious addiction to reading. I guess that comes with having 9 kids and needing a space you can call your own. this woman could read, surrounded by a mob. It was kind of like her own twilight zone.

I can remember my dad coming into the house after a typical shopping expedition. My mother refused point blank to shop for this crowd, if we ran short between dad’s shopping forays she would send a couple of us with a list. But when dad shopped it was like letting the good times roll! He usually ran to about 20 or 30 bags of groceries twice a month, were talking serious hunting and gathering here. When he got done unloading the car, he would show mom his trophies. He showed her all the neat new stuff from the market and all the treasures he had gotten just for her (big Hershey bars, peanuts, licorice etc.) Then he paused and started eating an apple all the while staring at my Ma. Mom had parked herself at the “Command Post” Dad had made for her. it was a counter top attached to the wall in a hallway in between the entrance hall and the kitchen. Where the old pantry used to be when we first moved into the house. Kind of a cut through hallway away from the crowd. Well after about 15 minutes of feeling his eyes upon her, she looked up from her book glared at my father and said, “Well, what the hell is it Bill!?” To which he replied, ” Even a cat can look at a Queen”. She was so irked.

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