One of the many delicious aspects of my multidimensional husband that entranced and charmed me from the get-go in our relationship is his ability to make me laugh. Buck is a 5th generation Pensacolian, and a Southern gentleman, booted and horsed. Even better, he is a storyteller's storyteller. He was a working journalist and ran a couple of small-town newspapers in Perry and Live Oak, Florida way back in another century and another life, with a pretty blond wife and three tiny babies to feed.
In 1966, he returned to his roots in Pensacola, where he took a job in public affairs for a local company, rising to become its regional public affairs director and corporate lobbyist for thirty years. Buck rounded out his working-for-other-people career by serving as chairman of the board of a local bank that was in deep trouble when he got involved. A lot of small shareholders were hurting bad. Turns out, whereas that young actor "sees dead people," Buck "see numbers." He and the board went through some tough years, but at last sold the little bank. No one got really rich, but the shareholders made out okay and the ones who could hold out didn't lose their shirts.
Well, this isn't the story I started out to tell this evening, but it's a little piece of one I intend to tell another time.
Here's what I wanted to say tonight: I learned a lot of old country stories and sayings from Buck. He has the ability to switch from drawing room "King's English" to the language of the country folk he loves. He would tell you "Of course I love them. I are one." Sometimes I use one of the sayings I heard from him in conversation. I don't always get them just exactly right.
Take this one: "Even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then." Maybe you have heard it somewhere before. We were in a group one evening, years ago, when somebody told us about some serendipitous event in their lives. Thinking myself quite clever, I spouted, "Well, I've heard that even a blind pig finds an acre of corn every now and then."
Buck jerked a little and I thought for a minute he was laughing. But no, he was far to gentle to poke fun at me publicly. Later on, in the car, though, he chuckled and explained to me that a blind hog would be very lucky indeed to find one acorn, but for a blind pig to find an "acre of corn" was truly beyond belief.
We both had a good laugh at that. But I stick to my version of the story, because if it were not possible for a blind pig to find a whole acre of corn, I would not have had a dog's chance at finding the love of my life, and yet — here we are — still crazy (about each other) after all these years.
The very best Appalachian story, music, folkways, heritage and tradition-preserving blog is created, written, photographed and maintained by Tipper Pressley in Brasstown, North Carolina. It is called Blind Pig and the Acorn.
I won a drawing from among Tipper's many visitors, and this wonderful Defender Brand garden journal arrived in today's mail. See? Didn't I tell you I get great stuff in the mail? Which reminds me of another remarkable gift from a fellow blogger friend in Wales that I haven't written about yet. I have made a photo, but haven't written the words.
Tomorrow. I swear. So much life. So many generous spirits. Here in the seemingly cold vastness of interstellar space and time, I am embraced by hearts no less warm because you occupy distant chairs, are hunched over desks, sprawled on a couch, or lying on your backs staring at the breathless stars in speechless joy in some other part of the world.
We share a cozy neighborhood. We are sharing this incredible trip, our very lives. And I embrace you back.