Mountain Brook

Farmer Leon Goes Squirrely

My dad’s garden mania shot up when his children-sharecroppers (forced labor until their early teen years) scattered. He doubled the crop when the next-door neighbor gave him permission to plow through the lower end of their backyard. These events forced Dad to double his hours in the garden. My mother never commented, but she developed a blank stare […]


Blooming on a Delayed Timetable

Catching a man couldn’t begin too early in the South. Not that mamas coached their babies in helpless sighs, arch glances, and pretty pouts. Those charms came naturally—at least for a few girls who budded early, their hot-pink and lime-green dresses giving the dusty playground a lush look. Their hair, parted precisely in the middle, rippled long […]


The Heirloom Dress

My mother was no-nonsense, even when it came to planning weddings. “For God’s sake, don’t book it on religious holidays: Christmas, Easter, and SEC football season. You’ll have no-shows around New Year’s, spring break, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.  Mother’s Day is sacred, too. Father’s Day? Oh, men get over it.” “Forget […]