“Don't get me talking about my mama,” he said. “Or I'll start crying.”
The man in the necktie started talking about her anyway. There was no way he could help it. He'd just attended her funeral. According to him, it was a small affair. She was in her eighties.
"They did a good job on her," he said. "She looked rested."
It was late. The bartender was tired, musicians packed up instruments, waitresses swept floors, and this man wanted to talk about his mama.
Well, talking about your mother is a tradition in this part of the world. You can hear mama-stories in almost any waterhole across our region. And each tale carries the same weight as a Sunday-school Bible lesson. I don't know if people from other parts talk about mothers quite as often, but I hope they do.
As a teenager, I remember sitting around an Andalusia campfire, watching three boys with beer cans swap mama-stories. Three of us had mothers. John did not.
“You know," said John. "Before Mama died, I fell off the porch once. I broke my leg, I was in a cast for months...”
“I remember that,” said another.…