Thursday, 3 April 2008
Send my regards to New Jersey
My cousin Susan Elizabeth Wells Parham is in Southampton this week on a digital library conference. She grew up in New Orleans while I was in Mississippi but now we live so far away that we only see each other infrequently. The last time I saw her was at my grandmother McKay's funeral (my mother's mother) a few years ago. My grandmother McKay had a bad humming gene and would break out into inane humming at the most inopportune times, especially, as I recall, when my uncle Bill was driving a long distance and she was in the car with him. And it was never an actual tune either, just some sort of crazed-bird-like song.
Susan E and I were reminiscing about this, and about how she said Grandmom McKay should be buried with her purse because she was never without it -- she said the purse should be somewhere at the bottom of the coffin but the undertaker put it in Grandmom's hands like she was taking it with her wherever she was going for eternity. Anyway, we went to a little shop to buy Susan E some bottles of water for her room and on our walk back to where she was staying she told me I'd been humming the whole time we were in the shop! "That's a lie!" I said. "I don't hum inanely like Grandmom did. You must have been listening to the radio playing in the store."
"I didn't want to say anything," Susan E continued, "but it was you. YOU are a mad hummer, just like your grandmother."
My husband has told me before that I inherited this humming gene, but I never believed him. Now I have independent verification. What can I do about this problem?
This pic of Susan E and me was taken in a pub last night by a very nice older gentleman. As he was leaving the pub, he told Susan E to 'give his regards to New Jersey and New York' as he had been there years and years ago and never forgot his visit and loved America.