By Ralph Hood
Confession time: My last column was about my mother’s diary. That was not planned, but was instead the answer to a mistake that I created all by myself and wife Gail solved all by herself.
I was in Birmingham, AL, speaking for the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame 2016 Induction Ceremony & Banquet, when Keith Whitson, the big boss at The Erwin Record, called my wife on Monday to ask where the column was for that Wednesday!
Horrors! I had forgotten to write that column!
Gail, bless her heart, went back to a column of mine that first appeared in another publication in the 1990s, then appeared again in one of my books, “Southern Raised in the Fifties.” Moving at warp speed, Gail adapted that column slightly and had it to Keith in milliseconds. Thank goodness for Gail. She’s been getting me out of my problems for 49 ears now.
I thought the column was a bit weak for Erwin readers who never knew my mother, but then came the surprise. I got more compliments on that column than on anything else I ever wrote for The Erwin Record in more than nine years. I couldn’t believe it.
Then my sister Martha emailed, asking where I got the diary in the first place, and why had I been hiding it all these years. She even warned me that I’d be hearing more about this from her.
I was upset, to say the least. I emailed a reminder that she had acquired not one, but two copies of the book, “Southern Raised in the Fifties,” in which the column appeared way back yonder. Gail—bless her heart again—had the records to prove it.
Then I got to thinking that maybe if Martha wanted the diary I’d just give it to her. I sent her an email to that effect and she was amazed. Come to find out, she had not been mad in the first place, but only teasing. She didn’t want the diary, but did want to read it.
In the meantime, Brother Jim’s daughter, Audra, emailed that she wanted to read the diary, too.
At present, we are making arrangements to get the diary to Martha, then on to Audra—no easy task as they live in different towns and we are all scared to mail the diary.
Everybody asks if the diary contains any deep, dark secrets. No, it does not (and I looked for them). It does get into her courtship with my father, including one event that showed he could be a tad jealous.
Nothing I ever wrote anywhere has ever stirred up as much interest as that column written in the 1990s about a diary that my mother wrote almost a hundred years ago.
Now what can I write?