Farmerville Gazette, January 25, 1939
Written by Edna Liggin as Uncle Lige
Ma and I Do a Fireside Chat
Ma and I wuz a seated by the fire one night last week, she a sewin’ up my pants and me wif my feet almost on the mantle.
“I hear Junior Barham is losin’ money fast,” I pipes. “In the last three weeks his name’s been called for one hundred fifteen dollars at Bank night at Bernice. And he want there!”
“Dew tell,” chucks Ma, then persues her line uv thought. “Laura Lewis has set out three bunches of cabbage plants already.”
“And Mr. Joe Henry Lewis went to Baton Rouge this week fer a coupela days.”
“Alma Tabor sure took it hard when her two best cows died from putting creosote on em.” Ma continues.
I shakes my head in sympathy “Everett Albritton’s best dog died wif pneumonia, too.”
“Yes, and Mrs. Slim Golden’s baby is mighty sick,” Ma threads her needle. “Pa, dew poke up that fire!”
I does. “My goshen, Ma, did I tell you Frank and Ada McIntosh have a new boy?”
“Gracious,” claims Ma, “Thet’s their fourth child and first son. My! My!! My!!!”
‘Pears she ain’t through “Speakin’ of the Goldens, Mrs. Annie Golden sure had a good home demonstration club meetin’ Monday.”
“What’d yer have to eat?” I asked naturally.
“Thet’s er man fer ye,” says Ma. “We had a big stack of sandwiches, chocolate, jello, cake, and Miss Nelson told us all about lawns, colors of flowers, rose cuttings–Pa, why can’t we have a lawn and –“
I tried to stem her. “Malvin Liggin and Jesse Fomby were Monroe visitors Saturday.”
You can’t stem Ma. “Ruth Wynn, Douglas Liggin wuz there, and Clyde Heard, Alma Tabor, Betty Reeves, Mattie Barham, Dorothy Key, Laura Lewis, and Quinnie Golden’s wife–“
“Ded yer notice the Bernice girls at Shiloh church Sunday?” I niver gives up. “Mary Frances Hollis visitin’ Bertie Matthews. Annie Lee Smith visited Mary Buckley. I hears Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Reeves and Albert Honeycutt from Bernice wuz down to see Elmer Anderson and his wife.”
“I hear Mr. Honeycutt might move to Evergreen,” Ma says, as she starts on another pair of pants, “Mr. and Mrs. Newt Poland went to Hico last Sunday visitin’ Mrs. Jeanie Roach.”
“Reverened Carlos Rockett has resigned from Evergreen church.” I slip down another notch in the rockin’ chair. Ma, I sure saw a purty sight one day this week. I peeped in the school bus and all the kids had a handful of pictures sum feller had took over to the school house.
Ma chucked. “Kids do love to have their pictures taken. I remember–“
So did I, so I buts in, “Ma ye heard the latest” They’s a sayin’ we country folks hav to drink white dye to keep frum seein’ green!”
Ma laughs but isn’s sidetracked. “As I wuz a rememberin’__”
I desperately tries again, “Ma, this country’s in a bad condition. Whut I calls a vicious circle.”
Ma looks alarmed, “Whut?”
“One uv my neighbors can’t plant but six acres uv cotton and he can’t get anyone to put up money fer him to make a crop, ’cause he can’t grow no more cotton,” I tells her.
“Um’m’m,” Ma is making a difficult stitch.
I waxes eloquently on, “and yit I got a neighbor whut has to buy sweet pertaters to eat, and he calls hisself a farmer — “
Ma rises, “Pa, it’s bedtime.”
I give up, “I reckon so. Whar is my nightgown? Is the cover turned down? Whar’s thet linament fer my chest?”
Then I gits alarmed, “Ma, whut is thet teakettle and washpan fer?” I am downright suspicious.
“You’re bathing tonight,” Ma says grimly.
I’ll tell you about thet next week.
Edna Matthews Liggin will always be remembered as the official historian of Union Parish and the Book Mobile Lady. She began writing the Uncle Lige column in The Gazette in 1939. Over the years she wrote many articles about the Union Parish history, the people there and her bottle collection. In her retired years she enjoyed visiting the older people in the Union Parish community.