Barry Smith: Word from the South |

Barry Smith: Word from the South

Just came in the mail today ? the annual Christmas letter from my Aunt Faye in Mississippi:


Well, can you believe it’s been a whole ?nother year since a year ago? If I didn’t think the Sweet Lord would strike me down for swearin’, I’d swear that time just goes faster and faster the older I get.

All is well here in Hushpuckenea as we get closer to the Savior’s birthday. Last week we went driving around at night just to look at how beautiful everything is. The town looks real nice, with the Christmas lights all strung up on the telephone poles and in the pecan trees.

Then we went to Sonic for dinner, ?cause Little Jimmy works there, and he can get us a discount. Little Jimmy ain’t exactly the most coordinated person in the world, bless his heart, so he sure has him a time delivering that food on roller skates. He tried joining the Army last year after he graduated, but they wouldn’t take him because they said his eyes were a little too close together.

But he’s a good boy and we’ve still got our fingers crossed that we’ll go to war soon and then they’ll HAVE to sign him up.

Uncle Hubert got his two front teeth knocked out on a fishing trip. He was trying to crank the trolling motor so he could get to runnin’ his trot lines when it kicked back on him and snatched him forward right into the edge of the boat. His teeth fell in the water, otherwise the dentist probably could have sewed ?em back in, or whatever it is they do. He got him a plate fitted, and you can’t even tell they ain’t his, except all his fishing buddies call him “Gatemouth” now.

Louisa Jean and Billy and the kids took a trip out west in the RV just last month. They sent us postcards from nearabouts everywhere: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado. Lordy, I tell ya, my fridge is just covered. They said they stopped by to visit Barry in Colorado, but he wasn’t home. They called him a few weeks earlier to let him know they was comin’, but they said when they got there they knocked and knocked and nobody answered, even though there were lights on and smoke comin’ out of the chimney. I guess he must-a had to leave town in a hurry on one of his spy missions. He can’t tell us much about what he does, but I bet it’s sure exciting being in the CIA.

On a sad note, we had to put Dixie down a few months ago. You know she had parvo when she was a puppy, and the vet gave her some medicine that made her get real big and kinda mean to strangers. Well, she chewed through her chain and bit one of the Williams boys on the face and they raised a big stink so the Sheriff said we had better take her out behind the shed and do what’s right. We miss her, but we’ll probably be gettin’ another puppy about the time tick season starts.

Not to toot my own horn, but the second printing of my cookbook, “Chop Wood, Carry Batter ? The Zen of Deep Frying,” has almost sold out. And get this: Clyde McGeehee from down at the car lot is now my literary agent. He hasn’t done a whole lot of reading himself, but, as he told me, “Honey, I could sell an icemaker to one of those funny lookin’ people who wear those big fur coats and live where all that snow is.”

I don’t want to jinx it, but he says he’s done some good talking to Oprah’s people, so maybe a publisher will pick me up and this time next year there’ll be a version of “Chop Wood …” available that isn’t stapled.

We sure do love all ya’ll, and if you find yourselves out Hushpuckenea way, don’t be a stranger.

Merry Christmas!


Aunt Faye and Uncle Hubert and the Gang

[Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Monday and Thursday. His e-mail address is, and his very own Web page is at]

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