Count no’Count? Hardly!

Since my Dearly Beloved and I happened to be with friends in Oxford, Mississippi the week of William Faulkner’s birthday, we decided to visit St. Peter’s cemetery where he and a number of his family members are buried.  The original Faulkner burial plot was full by the time William died, so another plot was started and he was laid to rest there, as later were his wife and stepson.


The Faulkners are buried on the side of the marker away from the road and his stepson,  Malcolm Franklin, is on the road side.   I took several photos and although not known for my powers of observation,  I saw nothing in that fourth spot, beside Malcolm’s grave.

BUT, a University of Mississippi map of Faulkner sites of interest mentions that this fourth gravesite, long vacant, is now marked with a smaller stone for an old family friend, E. T., who “came home to rest with us.”  The map points out that the whole thing is a carefully guarded secret and that no one, except for Faulkner’s nephew, Jimmy Faulkner, knows who it is.

If the stone is there, it must be very tiny, indeed.  I don’t remember seeing so much as a pebble, although at the time, I didn’t realize there was supposed to be a fourth grave there.   At the top of the steps leading to the plot, the family name was etched.   Alas, no E. T.


Perhaps he phoned another home?

Remember the mysterious visitor–or perhaps more than one– who visited Edgar Allen Poe’s grave for over 70 decades on the anniversary of his birth and left behind a partial bottle of cognac and three roses?

It being the anniversary of Faulkner’s birth,  we (empty-handed, I confess) went to see if Oxford folks made a similar gesture at the grave of their famous citizen and left a special memorial of some kind..

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Um. . . not so much, although one person did leave an empty Maker’s Mark bourbon mini-bottle by the  column of the marker.  Faulkner would have preferred moonshine, but if not that, Scotch would do. Still, someone had been there.

Perhaps some Oxford residents are still holding a grudge.   After all, he did say this about the town in an interview with Esquire magazine in 1963:

Some folks wouldn’t even speak when they passed me on the street. Then MGM came to town to film Intruder in the Dust, and that made some difference because I’d brought money into Oxford. But it wasn’t until the Nobel Prize that they really thawed out. They couldn’t understand my books, but they could understand thirty thousand dollars.

To give the man his due, he said enough things–brilliantly–that earned him two Pulitzers and two National Book Awards in addition to the Nobel prize for Literature.   Here are a few quotations from his writings, not among his best known, although I found them interesting.

People … have tried to evoke God or devil to justify them in what their glands insisted upon.  – Absalom, Absalom!

Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death. Good ones don’t have time to bother with success or getting rich.  – The Paris Review, spring 1956

People everywhere are about the same, but … it did seem that in a small town, where evil is harder to accomplish, where opportunities for privacy are scarcer, that people can invent more of it in other people’s names. Because that was all it required: that idea, that single idle word blown from mind to mind. – Light in August









Little Prairie On the House

In early spring, my Dearly Beloved and I were full of plans for our garden.  I was going to whip the flower borders and beds into shape and he was going to have the perfect lawn this summer.  I don’t know his methods, but on several different occasions he’d head for the hardware store, then spend countless hours applying whatever he’d bought with his spreader.

His efforts were rewarded.  Soon, he was mowing the lawn two or three times a week.

Then came the record heat and drought.  His beautiful lawn began to look more like an over-grazed pasture in August.  The perfect grass disappeared altogether as rival gangs of violets and clovers battled for dominance, although there is plenty of grassless red clay soil for another skirmish, another day.

I worked on my flower beds, mainly watering them, even as the heat toasted the hosta leaves to a crisp brown and some of my flower buds didn’t even bother opening.  It’s been less than rewarding, although most plants are still alive.

By the time the pansies fizzled out in the hay rack planter on the deck railing, I was reluctant to spend money on more new plants to fry, so I bought 12 from the Reduced rack at Lowe’s– the shelf where neglected plants are sent to die.  I bought 12, hoping that perhaps half of them would make it.


All of them showed their gratitude for my mercy mission by flourishing. Now I’m hoping that the hummingbirds might find some tasty morsels in the $12 assortment.

As I’ve explained before, even though we live in a ranch style house, our sloped lot means that our deck is second story.  I’ll show you a photo.  (Pretend you don’t notice the hose and junk lying around.)


There is a sidewalk at the bottom of the steps which encircles my rose garden.  Beyond the roses is the used-to-be lawn.  My point in telling you all of this is that when DB was spreading all those seeds, my little planter up there should have been off limits to any straying seeds, right?

So one would think.

Take a look at the back of the planter from the deck.


That’s how the grass down there in the prairie is supposed to look.

Poor DB!  I wonder if he’d feel better if I let him mow the back of my planter.

There’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn
look as nice as your neighbor’s.
– Clyde Moore

Travelin’– Or, As They May Say In Michigan, ‘Raveling.

Whenever we go on a trip, I tell myself that I’m not going to take any photos of weird things along the way, then I see situations that tickle me and I change my mind, but by the time I pull out my phone and aim the camera I end up with a series of blurred photos.

Here are my blurs and blobs, with explanations:

IMG_0259  The license plate on this car says “UDontNoMe”

This one says, “YOUKNOWIT.”  IMG_0262

I know that in the South, we have a tendency to drop our G’s at the end of words.  This truck is from Michigan.


Notice anything missing?

And last but not least, since this story made the front page of the Wall Street Journal last week, I thought I’d include a photo of the peachoid along I-85 in South Carolina.


Although it looks like it’s wearing a winter bonnet, the Gaffney, SC water tower has actually been under repair for some time.  The Journal article pointed out the town had “hoped to get cracking last fall,” but it wasn’t that easy to find an artist who can mix the 12 shades  and paint in the air like that.  It isn’t just a simple one-color job and the end is not in sight.

Depending how you look at it.