Coulda, Shoulda

“Hey, Mom. These yeast rolls are so good. Thanks for letting me help make them. Squeezing the dough. Watching it rise. Eating some out of the bowl. Putting them in the oven. They’re done.” Mmm, Mmm. The smell of the yeast. Spread that yummy butter on and watch it melt. Put on some blackberry jelly. I’m eating one plain, one with just butter and one with butter and jelly. I think I’ll have three more. One plain, one  ——–  And maybe I better have three ————-

“Hey, Mom. I love this set of books.  It’s fun sitting snuggled close to you and hearing your voice reading stories to me and teaching me words. I have lots of favorites but my bestest favorite is ‘The Chatterlings’. Those crazy guys with the different colored cone hats and their search for two words that mean the same thing. Not almost the same but the very same. They keep going to the King when they think they discover two words and he explains how they almost mean the same but not quite the same.”

“Mom. Thanks for letting me get this clarinet and take lessons from the school band teacher. And helping me learn to count those squiggled quarter rests and figure out the names of the notes.”

“Hey, Dad. Thanks for buying me this Roadmaster bicycle. Dark red. For helping me learn to ride it. For getting it back when those kids stole it. This siren’s neat. Shiny chrome. Pull the chain up so the end touches the tire and soon it sounds just like a fire engine. You carry it up every night to our second floor apartment when you get home from work.  I’m glad I got this basket for my twelfth birthday, now that I’ve got a paper route. I can carry my bike up the stairs by myself now.  My best friend Stan and I rode over to see General Robert E. Lee’s home today. Where he used to live before the civil war. It was kind of scary riding through Arlington National cemetery to get there.”

“Hey, Dad. Thanks for taking me every Monday night to the Police Boys Club Band rehearsal. And to the parades and concerts.”

“Dad. Can you heah me. Yeah, there’s lots’a static on the line. Thanks for getting me the ’58 white Volvo. Now that I’m stationed here outside of Atlanta, I’m able to get into town almost every night. They say ya’all a lot down here. Just like grandma. There’s a bunch of guys from California assigned to our unit. They hate grits. So, the mess sergeant, who looks like the Pillsbury doughboy in fatigues, makes a point of being there to dish out the food every morning at breakfast. “Ya’all California boys want some more grits?”  We found some great restaurants for when you and mom come to visit. One is called Aunt Fannie’s Cabin. Used to be a slave auction place. Has the best southern home style cookin’.  You get your choice of fried chicken – 3 dollars. Baked ham – 4 dollars, or steak – 5 dollars. Includes everything. Soup, salad, buttermilk biscuits, even dessert. Same kind of food you and mom grew up eating in Arkansas and Texas.

Well, gotta go. I coulda, shoulda thanked you for all this when you were both alive.

by  Sam Glenn

Select all writings of  Sam Glenn

Select biography of  Sam Glenn

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