Cousin Rufus Recovers and Ruminates


Dear Cousin Cletus,


It’s been a spell since ah wrote you a letter. Mebbe you heard ah had kidney stones. Ah didn’t know a body could hurt like that till bein’ in the emergency room, beggin’ the doc to be knocked out. Hope you don’t get ‘em, Cletus. They hurt!


Mah grandson, Harley was good to let me stay with ‘em while ah got better. It took about a month till they trusted me to come home and live by mahself. The neighbors was good to watch Ol’ Bozo, mah hound, till then. Ah think he missed us sittin’ on the porch ever’ night, watchin’ the sunset.


So, while ah was at Harley’s, his boy Levi grad-yee-ated from high school, and ah felt good enough to attend the ceremony. Things sure is diff’rent than when we wuz young.The high school band played nice. And Levi did a good job marchin’ in without stumblin’ over his feet.


But Cletus, you wouldn’t believe how kids grad-yee-ate now. The young’uns in Levi’s class all wore caps and gowns, but whut wuz under ‘em was a sight. When people stood around takin’ pitchers afterward, ah noticed somethin’ funny. The graduates would unzip their gowns and underneath they would be wearin’ shorts, t-shirts and tennis shoes! No foolin’!


In our day we all wore Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes. ‘Member how Cousin Jake had to wear a white shirt and tie, dress pants and Sunday shoes? Ah guess they don’t do that no more. And they took family pitchers with their gowns upzipped, sportin’ their work-in-the-yard clothes!


That wuz just the boys. The girls did the same, only posed with graduation gowns flappin’ in the breeze, and teeny, short dresses underneath. It’s a strange world out there, Cletus. Ah guess they don’t respect anybody enough to dress up for the occasion—or mebbe they just didn’t have money to wear nothin’ but rags.

That brings you up-to-date with mah corner of the world. We escaped the cicada bugs (whew!) and ah probably won’t be around in 17 years, when they come again.


Now that ah’m better, y’all come see me here in the holler. Ah’m saving some orange sodee pop just fer you.


Your cuz,

Rufus