Vol.XIII No.VI Pg.8
August 1976

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

I Remember Mama in thousands of ways — but perhaps most vividly as the fiery, determined little woman who did things that couldnt be done.

During depression days dad came in with tears in his eyes. The banks will not open today, he sobbed. The only cash we have is the change in the cash register. We are ruined!!

Fire snapped in mamas eyes. They cant have my money, she said. Dad tried to tell her the signs were up and there was no way to get into the bank; but mama threw a little black shawl around her shoulders and headed for town. She came back after awhile with $2,000 — the only capital we had to start over — and if anyone ever knew how she did it they would not tell. No, mama didnt own a gun.

We had a black cook who made wonderful pineapple pies — when she was not eating the starch. But on an important day, when mama expected big company, Sevella didnt show. Inquiry revealed she was in jail. So, mama called the jailer and told him to send her up there to make those pies, and she would be sent right back. (By now you have probably guessed that we lived in a small southern town, and mama knew everyone, top to bottom.) But the jailer said he couldnt do that. Sevella had stabbed a man and might face murder charges. Well — on went that little black shawl, off went mama, and soon back came Sevella. The pies were made, Sevella returned to jail, and we didnt see anything unusual about that.

Mama had a thing about the court house. It was all right for those who needed it, but she wouldnt go about the place. I dont remember her even voting. Then one day a man brought a summons. Judge wanted her to appear as character witness in a trial.

No, she said, Ive never been in the courts, and Im not about to start now. The man was puzzled. The Judge had ordered it, and Hell send the Sheriff to get you if you do not appear. Mama exploded, Theyll have to carry me over there, and Id like to see George Newman do that. Im not trying to justify this; Im just telling it like it was. She didnt go!

Yes I remember mama! She taught me to take on the world if I thought I was right, and would keep at it. Her memory is like a little black shawl, so handy to throw about my shoulders.