I’m not sure if it was because of the wreck or just because, but Mary Alice has always been the classmate that Madeline and I have held the closest and been the most constant friend throughout the past 44 years since moving on from high school. She has spent many holiday feasts with us and watched our sons grow up and them have kids.
Our sons think of her as the crazy old aunt (said in an endearing way).
She has the ability to talk about any subject and talk she can do.
One time, five or six years ago, I was driving to northwest Arkansas to the funeral of one of my Aunts. Madeline flew in to met me and we rode back together. On my journey there that evening, I was in downtown Dallas in rush hour traffic when my phone rang. I don’t remember exactly why she called but it probably had something to do with the recent death of our classmate Carroll Ray Lewis.
When I drove up at my hotel in Greenville, probably an hour and a half later I had to break off the conversation so I could check in.
I’m sure we talked about dozen’s of different things. When she talks it’s like a barrage of machine gun fire.
Since she still resists Facebook, she was unaware of The Angora Chronicles. Hearing the name and the premise for for the group she launched into several stories, one being about her ownership of some Angora goats when she was small. They lived on a farm at Fairland. They had goats. Her daddy told her she could have any of the orphans to raise as her own. She thought that meant any orphans so over time she made it around to the neighboring farms to tell them that she would be taking their orphans, because her daddy said so. They gladly would bring them to her, thinking her approach was cute and who needs to be bottle feeding baby goats. Over time she amassed a pretty nice herd.
When they sold the farm and moved to town, the goats were all sold and the money put away in a savings account and mostly forgotten about.
Just before heading off to The University of Texas, they ran across the long before forgotten savings passbook. She used that money to help pay her way through school. That and several other ways she parlayed some meager funds into enough to get by on. Something she has carried with her through life.
I encouraged her to get on FB and share her many rich stories with us, but to date she hasn’t. Maybe with some encouragement one day she will write some out and email them to me (at least she does email and text) so I can put them on here.
Oh did I mention that as vocal as I may be on matters of politics, when she and I talk, I let her have the floor and I set back and just listen. There is nothing that reinforces my belief and commitment to the conservative cause better than listening to a UT educated liberal talk.
Back in the fall of 1972 she came to spend the night with Madeline and me, while the Nixon / McGoven race was hot and heavy. Madeline finally went to bed, leaving the two of us sitting in the living room arguing over politics. That was truly a political battle royale. I don’t remember for sure but it’s possible we never slept that night.
But over the years I decided she would never be a convert, so it was better for me to listen and not talk. She is the only person that has that effect on me, to cause me to go silent.
BTW: did I mention that the Tea Party is the ONLY radical faction today in an otherwise sane political system, per Mary Alice. That almost caused me to launch into what would have caused me to have to drive all the way into Arkansas before stopping for the night. But for some reason, I was already exhausted by the time I arrived in Greenville.