Category Archives: Moonshine

A Happy Halloween call from Aunt Ira Mae…



Crawfish Manor

Received a call from Aunt Ira Mae today, she has decided that the old folks at Crawfish Manor does not have enough to do on a day-to-day basis, accept to pry into other folks business.  I said to her you might need to stop and think that most elderly people are not like you (she is well into her 90’s and acts like 50); many are hard of hearing or cannot see well.

She screamed into the phone. ”Hard of hearing, do not be fooled by that, they can hear a fly fart at one-hundred yards. Every time I opened my door to take out boxes that I have unpacked, no less than ten heads all sporting curly blue hair pops out to look at me as I walk down the hallway’.

Then she continued to say. “Don’t get me wrong, I have white hair…I just don’t think having it short and spiked went over too well, and I am certain that being bare foot and braless did not get me any points, and no, “the girls” were not bouncing off my knees. When God called out who wants “Big Breast”, I thought he said, “Big Test” and I ran the other way”!

Aunt Ira Mae no doubt irritated but laughing continued with…

“With the unpacking done, I decided to go for a bike ride (she has a three wheel adult trike). There I was on the elevator with the bike, a man and woman got on with me before the door could close. The man looked at me and said loudly, “Do you go to church”? I smiled and said “No”; he got louder, “Don’t you believe in God”? I smiled and said “Yes”, I knew what was coming next…”People who believe in God go to church”! His wife said loudly, “You’re going to hell”! I smiled and said, “Yes mam, I may be going there, and you and your husband don’t forget to say hi when you see me, ya hear”! I still don’t know their names; I call them the Church People”!

Well what can I say, I feel sorry for the other residents of Crawfish Manor. Ira Mae is a true southern character that you either love or hate. I am certain that when she got off the phone she told herself while pouring her shot of “Jack”, breathe damn’it.


10.31.2014 Happy Halloween ajm



Filed under Elderly biking, Jack Daniels, Life, Living in Senior Housing, Moonshine, Thoughts, Words

Aunt Ira Mae and Crawfish Creek Manor Day 2 …




Crawfish Creek Manor

Aunt Ira Mae called with her latest…if you are looking for senior housing here are some “do’s and don’ts”, and this may be the most important information the older generation will ever read.

Do not – be fooled if the housing is new with only a few tenants. Remember, those that can walk are in a gathering area checking you out; they were there first… this is an important thing never to forget, if you move in; you will be the subject of conversation for many months as you are the only “life” they have seen since they arrived at the Manor.

Do not – believe everything a manager of the property tells you, they are trying to fill the place up!

Do not – check out a town during winter months, everything looks magnificent  covered with snow.

Do – visit several times before signing a lease. Ira Mae said that if she had done so, she would have found out that the old woman who guards the door and questions everyone who enters was truly at one point “a warden”!

Do – read the lease carefully, the administrator/manager makes the rules as she goes about her day, different rules, different rents, her favorite saying is “This is all a secret now, don’t tell the others, because I am treating you special”. Then they all gather and discuss how special they are among themselves.

Those are the main do’s and don’ts, life is complicated here at Crawfish Creek Manor…

Hometown, small town, USA, beware it is Hell-Town, USA; Over 55 housing, (you think), friendly (until you move in), then you find that you are living in God’s Waiting Room…it is a nursing home without nursing staff and you have Crawfish Creek on one side and the Pearly Gates on the other!

Seems Aunt Ira Mae does not let anything or anyone get her down her message for today, remember a shot of “Jack” a day will keep the doctor away, and if you are a senior citizen just keep telling yourself…breathe damn’it.

As I continue to write my southern stories Aunt Ira Mae has become my muse, sets a fire under me to tell these stories before I have to go into “God’s Waiting Room”.

To check out my poetry works on death and depression, living through the loss of a love one go to…







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Filed under Life, Living in Senior Housing, Moonshine, Poetry, Prose, Thoughts, Words

Cotton Continues…

Cotton Cover Pic

The following is an excerpt from a short story about a young man from Atlanta. His first job after graduation from high school was with the Greater Atlantic Life Insurance Company. It was 1940 and jobs were scarce the pay poor; he would get to keep one-dollar for every policy he sold. His territory…the Appalachian Mountains. He did not know that the daughter of a potential buyer would be the wildest thing he would ever encounter in his life. It is a work of fiction based on real people and circumstances.

Working draft…



Andrew Pritchett walked two miles to reach the run-down shacks in the Tennessee foothills that edged the Georgia state line; he sold burial insurance. He knocked hard on the rough pine boards of the door, scrapped his knuckles, wiped the blood on his pants leg, stepped back and looked at the rotting porch, barrels for sitting, a can for tobacco spitting and a mangy dog swarmed by tiny black flies.

Suddenly a gigantic body filled the opening of the doorway. Moody Cahill wiped his mouth; relocated tobacco scum to the front of his patched overalls and returned his hand to the sawed off barrel of a shotgun.

“Mr. Cahill,” Andrew stuck out a trembling hand as he choked back the smell and disgust at the sight of the man he desperately wanted to sell something.


“Your neighbor down the hill, a Mr. Ragsdale said that you might be interested in some burial insurance.”


Andrew’s eye twitched, the lazy one when he was nervous, he sat the worn leather valise down on the porch; it held his entire life, insurance applications, rate book and envelopes to mail the company their money. Underneath all that was an extra pair of socks, underwear, a straight edge razor and a worn out towel; all he possessed beside his old truck.

“Folks in these parts have been buying up these burial policies pretty good, they come in handy if needed”.

Uneasy he took out a handkerchief wiping sweat off his neck. When he looked back at Mr. Moody a young girl with thread bear clothes and a sweet gum twig hanging through a gap in her teeth was leaning on the doorframe. She smiled at Andrew just before the elder man pushed her back into the rundown shack they called home.

“You married young man”.

“No sir.”

“Cotton get on back out here and introduce yourself properly to this young man, he aren’t married.”



The sweat on Andrew’s body turned cold, his white shirt shined like frozen ice; his throat closed and he could hardly breathe when Cotton stepped through the door. The man he assumed was her father stepped aside but did not lower the shotgun as Cotton took Andrew by the hand leading him into the dark shack that smelled of animal fat.

You just sit down here young feller and let Cotton pour you a glass of cold tea, we keep it in the well. When she returned she handed him a tin cup; he drank it quickly then opened his case taking out insurance papers.

“Mr. Cahill all you have to do is sign your names give me three dollars for each policy and I will fill out the forms, you’ll be all set with burial money when the time comes”.

“Well let’s have some more tea first then I will think about making my mark”.

After a few cups of “tea”…Andrew’s arms and legs went numb.  He didn’t resist when the old man led him to a cot next to a big potbelly stove. He didn’t resist when Cotton climbed onto the cot without her threadbare dress. He didn’t resist as his mind begin to go blank!




Filed under Appalachian Mountains, Moonshine, Mountain Folks, Tennessee Foothills, Words