Saturday, July 01, 2006


From my friend Bess's journal:

I was born in Amarillo, Texas July 10, 1911. My grandmother always said she saved my life because the doctor was so concerned with my mother’s survival that I was just laid aside. My grandmother picked me up and “spanked” me to start my breathing.
I just weighed two pounds and the folks always laughed about how I got lost in the clothes that they had made for me. As soon as Mama and I could travel we left Amarillo and Mama said I was so tiny they had to carry me on a pillow.

I met Bess when she was 76. I'm perturbed that I never knew until now that her dad called her Billiken–"Bill" for short. Because the name "Bess" didn't fit her any better than those baby clothes. "Bill" is perfect.

On Bess's 80th birthday, she decided she wanted to start smoking again. She and I went to the Silver Spoon to celebrate. We drove in the Fiat with the top down. On the way, we bought a pack of cigarettes. We sat in the smoking section–and there she was, puffing away when Tom arrived. Tom got very upset.

Bess taught painting, and tried to teach me how to watercolor, but it was hopeless. We would cut the lessons short and go out for fish & chips.

Today Bess died. She would have been 95 next week.

July 4
e-mail from Barbara:
We will have the memorial service in Scott City on her birthday!!! July 10th at 1.00 p.m. It is so strange, but the cremation won't take place until friday and then they mail (!?!) her to Scott City, certified mail. Can you see Bess's face if she knew about it? I feel strange about it but it seems to be normal.

Tom: I'm sure Bess is furious about being sent certified mail. I know she would choose FedEx.