This is going to be an adventure. Several years ago I went Chavies, Kentucky on Appalachain Service Project. Chavies is in Perry County....but could easily have been Hazzard County....that is the home of Bo and Luke Duke and the General Lee....Uncle Jessie...and Roscoe P. Coltrain!.....but they were on vacation when I was in the area. Instead...I met Malcolm, a.k.a. June Bug. Our house was in Bonnyman and actually not bad...it was missing supports underneath it....but the house itself was nice....compared to some we worked on. Anyways....our group was working....when a local came to meet us, check out what we were doing, and offer his advice. The locals name was Malcolm. I never got his last name...mainly because I did not think he threw it. Malcolm lived next door to our family...he was a gentle soul...a few fries shy of a happy meal, simple, and happy. Our first day he came to offer us Barbie dolls. These dolls were some he and his momma had been collecting for a long time and now needed to move to make space in their house for his sebenteen year old son. BTW...I spelled it like he said it. He and his momma loved buying Barbie dolls at yard sales and flea markets....but now those days were over....junior needed a room to himself. Malcolm offered us bags and bags of dolls...which we took. They would provide some child with hours of delight....and then told us how you can tell if a Barbie doll is real....do you know? Come on...bet cha do....well...if you don't...I will impart this wisdom to you....according to Malcolm. "There are two shure fire ways of tellin' if a Barbie doll is the real thang. The first way is to pull the hair up on her neck and if she has U. S.of A. stamped on her neck....then she is a real Barbie doll.....but the best way...the very bestest way....is to pull her little panties down....and if she has Mattel stamped on her arse....then she is the real thing. I nearly died. Later on...he returned to us....with a prize for me....a rock. He then assured me that it was not just any rock....it was a special rock....and I saw the fossils in the rock....and the rock was a chunk of coal. About that time he grabbed my hand....and was pulling me out from under the house....to take me down on the crick bank to get some more....I dug my heals in....because I was hearing Deliverance's Dueling Banjos kick up. Needless to say...I did NOT go to the creek bank that day....or any other. News of the Barbie story spread through our work crews like wildfire and on Weds. our Senior Pastor, Don, came to visit us. We were eating supper when I felt the hair on the back of my neck being lifted up....and my pastor whispered laughingly to me...."just seeing if you are the real thing." Willie, another adult from the other side of the room shouted...."try the other way preacher." Ahhhhh Lawd....there was no hole big enough for me to crawl into....but I lived to work another day, we finished the house and were very proud of what we accomplished. I loved my time in Chavies/Bonnyman. Kentucky is a gorgeous place to visit. Being from the south...I understand that the south gets a lot of bad press from everyone....we are called slow, stupid, dumb, etc....but let me tell you something about southern....southern is a state of mind. No where on earth are you treated like you are in the south. Here, where you meet someone you are told to draw you up a chair, have a cold glass of tea, and chat a bit. I love living in the south...and would not have it any other way. Only in the south will we let someone we have never met spend the night in our house....just because they know a cousin...five times removed. Only in the south...will you hear music on porches in the evening, yes ma'am and no sir being said by all...old and young. Only in the south...does warm hospitality cover you like black velvet at a midnight ball. It is a smooth...soothing feeling. If you have never experienced it....you should. It will change your life forever. It did mine.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.