Tuesday, October 4, 2011

smoke and socks -part 4

The first time I met my Dad's cousin Becky was outside the big white house we moved into when we moved to Cullowhee-you know the one above the Moss's trailer that later became Hardee's. :)
I was 5 and she was 18 and she was a freshman at Western. She came to our house several times. She was so pretty, tall, blond with the bluest eyes. I thought she was a princess and it helped that she brought her boyfriend who was the most handsome man I have ever seen in my life, to this day. She graduated as I pushed my way through elementary school, broke up with the prince, my tiny heart broke. I overheard my parents whispering that she had married a hippie and they had sex under a waterfall on their honeymoon, WHICH for some reason translated to my little mind that they had to take a shower under a waterfall because they were homeless and I felt bad for them.
When i was 14 and 15 I got in some trouble, which when I think about it now was just SOOOOO not trouble-real trouble -just stuff that confused my parents. They sent to Becky for a couple days or a week. She was super cool-managed a Record Bar in G'boro. I would go stay with her. She let me work in the store and paid me in records, :) And folks -let me just say the Record Bar in G'boro in 1975 was a ultra cool place to be for a Cullowhee girl. She talked to me like I was the Velveteen Rabbit-like I was real. I will never forget that.
Becky was born on 8/30/47 to a single woman-who quickly married-who was in the Air Force. She did not marry the father of her child and left the name of the father blank on the birth certificate. Becky grew up thinking her adoptive father was her father-not so sure he was that great. But her mom and step-dad were military so she attended 13 schools in 12 years-think about that! She graduated from Western with a degree in Health and Physical Education and taught at Canton Jr, HS for a while. She tried a couple other things and ended up at Record Bar-becoming store manager -the only female manager and eventually the first female regional supervisor. When the records stores failed she was very successful at managing the Health and Science bookstore at UNC. She would have been retired 2 years today.
She and her mother-my dad's Aunt Kate- had a falling out about 4 years ago and Kate has been in Hickory since then and my dad and I look after her. I love Aunt Kate and all her 93 year old repeated conversations but she never told Becky who her dad was even though Becky begged her. So Becky died without knowing who her paternal family was and she died alone. I think about her every day..every day. I dream about the 18 year old Becky but I have gone through all her pictures and she was just beautiful her whole life..just beautiful and cool! I now have framed Chic Corea posters from the 70'2s that I have no idea what to do with. And pictures of her with Chic Corea and pictures of her with Tina Turner and a dozen other great artists from the 70s and 80s.
The absolute BEST thing about this experience was calling a person she must have considered her closest friend to say ,"Hey, Becky left you her car-cream on the inside-cream on the outside!"
She was stunned and the thing she need MOST in this world was a car. She was the only person I enjoyed talking to at the apartment and did not hesitate to hug. GO BECKY! That was a great call and I really like your friend! "Smoke and socks" will mean nothing to anyone but me and I don't think I could explain if I had to. But cheers to Becky!


  1. oh YAY! i so get it!

  2. The Velveteen Rabbit reference is just too cool.