Tuesday, February 16, 2010

De Good Life


Willow, of the blog Willow Manor, has created a new blog called Magpie Tales. Willow says, "This blog is dedicated to the enjoyment of writers, for the purpose of honing their craft, sharing it with like minded bloggers, and keeping their muses alive and well." On Friday of each week, she will post a photograph which is a prompt to inspire you to write a short piece of fiction or a poem. Today is the blog's debut. Go on over to Magpie Tales to check out the rules and other contributors work.

De Good Life


"Granpop, I found this while I was cleaning out Gramma Lu's closet. What is it? It sure is pretty."

"Bring it on over here, Calvin," said the old man. "Mah ol' eyes don' work since I got de diabetes." Slowly, he rubbed his hands over the cool piece of metal. Frail, ragged fingers trace its wide mouth and trail down the handle to the tapered base. A solitary tear squeezes out the corner of his eye as a smile rises on his lips like a rainbow in the rain. "Son, oder dan your Gramma Lu, God res' her soul, dis was de best part o' mah life.

Dis was de first trophy ah won on de golf tour. De white men wouldn't let us neaga people play wit dem so we had ta start our own. Had a hard time gettin' sponsors, we did. We couldn' play fuh much money. Hell, we had ta hustle Joe's in every town we wen' to jus' ta make 'nough money ta stay out der. De day ah won dis, ah was flat broke. Ah didn' have a penny ta mark mah ball an' if someone hadn' brought apples ta de tourney, ah wouldn' have been able ta eat. Ah don' think I even tol' your Gramma Lu how busted ah was. An' when ah won dis, ah didn' hafta. She smiled like ah'd given her de world when ah gave her dis.

Son, when ah got up ol' 'nough, ah'd go ta de club an' caddy. Ah was 'bout 12 year ol' when ah started carryin'. Good way ta make some good money...fuh mah family. In dem days, oh, back 'roun 1925, mah daddy only brought home $10 a week fuh some hard ol' work. Why, ah could make $6 fuh carryin' clubs fuh 18 holes. Dat was a lotta money. Mah mama grabbed me by de ear an' pinched it real hard all de while asking me what ah was doin' ta make dat much. Den I'd give mah mama all de money 'cepn a quarter an' ah'd buy me a cegar. Yep, made me feel like a real man.

Mostly taught mahself ta play by watchin' the better players from de caddy shack. Wha, ah even remember lil' Arnie taggin' 'long behin' us buggin' us ta play. Arnold Palmer. He always said de caddies was de best players. He loved a good game. Das' de truf, son. Yo go as' him yo'self. Turned into a mighty fine golfer hisself 'long de way.

Ah walkt 'round wit dat bag on mah shoulder...no shoes. No shoes. Never knew what golf shoes was. Dos spiky, lil' burrs used ta eat mah feet alive. When ah got home, ah'd have ta take a needle an' pick 'em all outta mahfeet. Didn' have no clubs. Jus' took a tobacco stick or a Dogwood strip an' trim it down...made dat ting fit. Know what ah mean? Got some epoxy or somethin' an' put dat thing on de bottom...took it out an' hit it de next day. Man, ah had mahself a golf club...shit. No grip or nuthin'. Jus' took it out an' hit it. Never thought 'bout it. Had one ball as brown as mah daddy's face. Didn' matter how far it went. Wasn' no gripin' and carryin' on like dos boys do today.

Calvin, what yo found der is a man's hopes an' dreams for a better life. You take it now, son. Ah had mine an' Grama Lu don' need it no mo'. Yo go on out der an' get yours. Dat right, son...dat right."

41 comments:

Gemel said...

Hope you are going to write more of these, I loved it :-)

Baino said...

Brave to write it the way you did in this politically correct world but a timely reminder that we need to seize opportunity as it comes. I wish I could write fiction, I'd love to do some of these. You're very clever.

Eternally Distracted said...

That was fabulous, I read it twice. What an amazing story... I love the wisdom and grace that comes with age.

otin said...

Ronda, you are so unique! That was wonderful. I wish that I had the time right now to write more!

Dave King said...

I'm with Gemel. As often as you like - can't have too much of a good thing. And thanks for the steer to Willow's new blog. Shall check that one out.

Nessa said...

Very well done. You captured his voice.

Brian Miller said...

ronda, that was a phenomenal story...love how you wrote it and the message behind it. one of my favs...

CatLadyLarew said...

A symbol of hopes and dreams... come true! Love it!

subby said...

Ronda, AWESOME tale....LMBO about little Arnold Palmer! Great visualisation...I got right into th' story :)

Mrsupole said...

Ah woud tell ya tat some mity fine writin, bu ya alredy kno tat, en ya need ta writ som mor. Wat ken I sa bout it tat ya alredy dona kno, yesha id is gret en id tink me en yu gonna do jus gret wid me lif storee.

God bless.

willow said...

This was a witty piece of writing, Ronda. Gosh, you nailed Granpop's accent. Fun. Can't wait to read more from you, girl!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

reminded me of the black speak dialogue in "The Help" but yours was much more difficult spelling and narrative ... good take on the mug!

DUTA said...

Beautiful story, smart style, authentic language-dialect.
It conveys the great message of "Where there's a Will, there's a Way".

Reya Mellicker said...

This is awesome! Did you channel it? Wow. So authentic. Wow.

Ronda Laveen said...

Gemel: Why, thank you!

Baino: As you suggest, I did think a while about the "voice" I used for Granpop and its political correctness, but that is how he still speaks when I see him in my mind. He was not of the politically correct era. I would love to see some fictional pieces from you. I'm sure you can do it.

Eternally Distracted: Yes, there is a wisdom and grace that comes with age if we allow.

Otin: You writing is prolific. I would be in awe of the reams you would write if you had more time.

Dave: Thanks, and, please, do join us! You would do well there.

Nessa: High praise from you, thanks.

Brian: Thank you, I wasn't sure when I was writing it but, I think it is one of my faves too now.

CatLady: Yes, it is a symbol of hopes and dreams come true. We all can use some of that, yes?

Ronda Laveen said...

Subby: Thanks for noticing the Arnie piece. I thought it was fun too.

Sherry: Ah would luv ta writ yo lif storee! Ahm sure yo haf lots ta tell.

Willow: Thanks for the fun idea. I'll be back to participate in Magpie Tales.

PatTransplanted: I've not read "The Help" but will have to check it out now.

DUTA: You are gracious as always. Where there is a will, there's a way is one of my favorite themes.

Reya: In a way, I channeld it. I saw a program on black golfers from the 1920s and then had a dream about it. Then I had to research the dialogue...this is Calypso in origin.

The Muse said...

appreciate your visit. and thank you for taking time to read and comment on my prose. i am glad to be able to visit you as well.

thank you for a vision of the brighter of times...and the more blessed of days.

JC said...

You, my dear, can write ...

Ronda Laveen said...

The Muse and JC: Thank you both and welcome to the Wonderland!

Jennifer said...

Ronda, I was right there with Granpop and Calvin. Great job on the dialect!

Vicki Lane said...

Terrific story, Ronda! Granpop is a wonderful character!

Jill said...

Ronda! That was wonderful...a most endearing story. You were inspired!
Bravo!

Catalyst said...

Ronda, darlin', you hit that ball out of the park! Wonderful!

RNSANE said...

Gosh, that took me back about 55 years to my youth in Georgia when our "maid" would take us to her home when my mother would have to work late at Dr. Gilliam's office ( she was a nurse and they would see patients until the last one was treated and sent on his way ). Racism was still rampant in the state but hildren are blessedly color blind. I loved being there and playing with the other kids. Lilly's grandfather had an accent just like the gentleman in your tale and he told such wonderful stories. Lilly Mae would make us all the best biscuits and we'd pour on thick cane syrup which we'd squish with butter...mmmmmmm.

PattyF said...

You did an amazing job with this, Ronda! Wonderful read!

Dorraine said...

Dat right, Ronda. Dat right. Authentic and gutsy. Love, loved it.

Enchanted Oak said...

Lovely work. Glad I came by.

Ronda Laveen said...

Jennifer: Granpop and Calvin felt you!

Vicki: Thank you, I feel him a lot right here around me.

Jill: Granpop is indeed inspiring. I like him a lot.

Catalyst: I was aimin' for the fence:-)

RNSane: Your childhood story is sweet and endearing. Lily Mae sounds as wonderful as her bisquites and thick cane syrup and butter.

PattyF: Thanks and welcome to the Wondreland.

Dorraine: Authentic? Gutsy? Yeah!

Enchanted Oak: I'm glad you came by too!

spacedlaw said...

Amazing.

Lyn said...

Nostalgia for a moment past..like looking into a time machine! So well done!

Berowne said...

Remarkable, the amount of talent available right here in Blogland. Congratulations.

Ronda Laveen said...

Spacedlaw: Thanks.

Lyn: Yes, it is the passing of a generation.

Berowne: You are so right. Blogland is becoming its own entity of artistic endeavors. A new paradigm of publishing?

Together We Save said...

Great job.

Ronda Laveen said...

Together We Save: Thank you.

The Hausfrau said...

Great job--you really got the voice right!

Evening Light Writer said...

Ronda, your handling of dialect is wonderful and inventive. I love this and I love the character's voices. You are truly a talented writer.

martha said...

Very interesting exploration of how a very disadvantaged person pursued and accomplished his dreams. I like the way he is handing on the challenge to his grandson by passing on the cup. Beautifully told.

Ronda Laveen said...

Hausfrau: Thank you so much.

Mindy: From you, my love, it take that as high praise, indeed.

Martha: I thought it was important that Granpop's dream move forward through Calvin. Paying it forward.

The Silver Fox said...

There's a big difference between a stereotypical, racist dialect and an honest accent. I knew after only reading a handful of words that you'd captured the latter. Great story, and like Subby, I loved the Arnold Palmer reference. It helped me to see how old the speaker was in my mind. Terrific story.

Ronda Laveen said...

Foxter: Thank you! I was hoping that the reader would be able to tell that Granpop's dialect and Arnie would show the generation that he came from. And how the world was during that time. You got that, thanks.

chiccoreal said...

Love the dialogue in this work. The characters are fascinating and rich in cultural heritage. Wonderful!