Awhile ago, my sister Lindy received a far from normal phone call from the area of the United States that John calls Mayberry RFD. Yes, it was a call that originated in Southern Indiana! Now if there is one area code Lindy hopes never to see again, it is the one from right outside of Louisville, Kentucky.
My sister has never had a fondness for that part of the country. It is where our mother was born and grew up, and it was where she tortured Lindy and me by taking us on vacation. As children, we always traveled via Greyhound on these trips to see our hillbilly kin. After our mother died, my sister managed to convince me that we would never again be going there or answering phone calls from there.
To be honest, though, I sometimes find myself waffling on that commitment and wish that we could go back to visit there and spend some quality time with our kinfolk. Attempts to talk my sister into such a trip have, so far, been unsuccessful.
And on this day, unfortunately for my sister, her phone rang at a moment when she was distracted. My sister answered the phone and discovered that it was one of Mother’s “friends” on the line. By friend, I mean a woman who worked with the Red Cross and helped Mother in the aftermath of a tornado. After the tornado had devastated large parts of the little town they all lived in, Dee and her family took pity on Mother and stopped over to help her get groceries and get to the beauty shop.
Dee’s husband thought Mother’s smart ass comments were hilarious and he called Mother his “girlfriend.” Dee and her husband were actually the only people from the Land of the Hillbillies who had stayed in contact with Mother once she moved to Iowa. Unfortunately, Dee was completely unaware of Mother’s demise. This left it to my sister to break the news that Mother had been gone for eight months. This despite the fact that we had put the obituary in the local newspaper down there.
When Lindy tried to explain that the information had been put in the local paper, Dee insisted on telling her why she and her husband don’t read the paper.
Down here, you have to pay for the newspaper.
Dee said. My sister told Dee that you pay for the newspaper everywhere, but as you may be able to imagine, this information went in one ear and out the other. People in Southern Indiana never seem to realize that there are any other cities, newspapers, or people in other states.