My Maw Maw and Paw Paw (grandparents) used to live in a double shotgun house in Gentilly (a suburb of New Orleans) and my Maw Maw’s sister lived on the other side of her. Across the street from them was her other three sisters, living next door to each other in their own double. My grandmother was one of 13 children and at any part of the day at any time of the year, you could find them sitting on their porches bullshitting.
People would walk up and people would leave, rotating to keep the conversation alive. Most would get a beer or go out for sno-balls and talk about things relevant or inconsequential. It didn’t matter.
I was a child back in the 1970’s, but going to their house meant chocolate and it meant dollar bills. It meant great home cooked New Orleans food and I remember the mellatons on the vine in their backyard.
Sometimes my Dad would take me around the corner to the barbershop where there were Penthouse and Playboys mixed in with the regular magazines. I thought I was slick in hiding them inside other mags, but later I realized that they knew. They had to have.
When I grew into my late teens, my visits were less as I had more important social issues, but one particular memory sticks in my head of bringing a girl I had just started dating to my grandmother’s house and my Aunt Myrtle offered us a couple of Miller Ponies and when I refused, saying that I was driving, she called me a sissy – right in front of the girl I was trying to impress.
I do miss those days.