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Holiday greetings from the South

Barry Smith

Ahhhh, the holiday season. Sure, there’s the smell of pine, the new-fallen snow and the gnawing guilt of gift giving, but nothing says “yuletide” to me quite like the annual letter from my aunt Faye in Mississippi:Hey Ya’ll,Well, it sure has been an exciting year for everyone here in Hushpuckena – I only hope I can fit it all in this here letter!Uncle Hubert had his stomach stapled in June and he looks real good now. I swear if ya’ll saw him now you wouldn’t recognize him at all. I keep tellin’ him that if it weren’t for his cigarette I wouldn’t even be able to see him when he stands sideways! He he. We donated all his old clothes to the Goodwill and just last week we noticed that Ennis McGhehee was using an old pair of his overalls as a tractor cover. That made Hubert feel real good, being able to give something back to the community like that.And speaking of the community, Little Skeeter (my gosh, he ain’t solittle anymore – these boys grow up so fast!) has finally figured out howto combine his love of horses and his recent problems with drug addictioninto something that helps everybody AND glorifies God.Ya’ll may not know this, but Skeeter useta go a little bit hog-wildwith prescription diuretics (that boy just loves to pee!), but he’s allbetter now. Anyway, he’s created what he calls the “Just Say Neigh-tivityScene,” which he says is the first-ever all-horse version of the birth ofour Savior with an anti-drug theme. The horses seem to love it, especiallyPepe, the Shetland, who gets to be Baby Jesus. Last Sunday Pastor Clyde even preached his whole sermon based on Skeeter’s project. He called it, “High Ho Silver, Away In A Manger.”Emma Jean just graduated Itta Bena Junior College with honors! She’s areal fireball. About a month ago she announced to the family that she’s been accepted at a college in Washington state and that she plans to go there and follow her dream of being a lesbian. This came as no surprise – she’s always loved animals. We couldn’t be prouder. We hope she’ll meet some nice fellow up there who shares her interest in medicine. Nothing would make us happier than if our little girl married a handsome doctor.I know it’s a sin to brag, but I been having lots of success with myli’l ol’ homemaking projects. Ya’ll may remember from last year that mycookbook, “Chop Wood, Carry Batter – The Zen of Deep Frying,” finally came out in a version that wasn’t stapled. Well, I signed a contract with apublisher down in Vicksburg for a follow-up cookbook, “Dr. Atkins NeverTried My Hush Puppies.”For all ya’ll fans of Aunt Faye’s Virgin Wool Earmuffs, I have some badnews – my arthritis is just so bad these days that I can’t really knit likeI used to.The good news is, when I started tellin’ people I wouldn’t be makingany more earmuffs, they kept bugging me to show THEM how to do it. I got so tired of explaining it that one day I was complaining about it to Uncle Earl. Well, he went and got his video camera and filmed me demonstratin’ how I make these earmuffs and now I can just hand people a copy of this here videotape! That Earl’s a genius.It gets better, though. Earl made one of them Web pages for me to sellmy virgin wool earmuff video to strangers. I never woulda guessed that so many people had cold ears and an interest in knitting, but the “VirginMuffs” video has been selling like hot cakes!Well, that’s it for all us. If ya’ll are ever down Hushpuckena way, besure and give us a holler. And may the Good Lord bless ya’ll during thisseason. Love, Aunt Faye and Uncle Hubert, Skeeter and Emma JeanBarry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is barry@Irrelativity.com, and his very own Web page is at http://www.Irrelativity.com


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