Miss Kathryn Wyndham
Good evening and come in where it is cool for is in the triple digits outside. In the shade of our awning, it was 102 degrees about 1:00 this afternoon. Now I like hot weather and am used to it but over 100 is just a tad too hot so come on in for some cold lemonade.
The picture above is Miss Kathryn as we knew her or Kathryn Tucker Windham from Selma, AL. When I married Roy, I met her and fell in love with this wonderful lady for she was THE Southern Lady - gracious, smart, funny, feisty, story teller, cook, wife, mother, newspaper reporter, writer, and too many other talents and skills to name. She was a family friend of the Robsons, went to the same church with them and the children of the 2 families were close. Her husband was dead by the time we married, so she was a single mom with 3 children, a job at the newspaper - Selma Times Journal - and a writer. With all her jobs, she always had time for a chat and tell you a story.
I asked Roy what he remembered best about "Miss Kathryn" and he recalled what a good Sunday School Teacher she was. Knowing how smart and educated she was, I am sure she taught well but he said she also made them behave. It was a room full of little boys and her method of discipline was to ask them to settle down and be quiet or she would get their parents. This was the best thing she could use for those parents would warm those little bottoms with a "whuppin" sure as shooting. I kinda doubt she had to call any parents for her story telling ability would have kept them enthralled. Her knowledge of the Bible was also extensive and she also lived her faith each and every day.
She was a treasure chest of folk tales, superstitions, ghost stories, family stories and facts about the South and growing up down here. She told us that if you saw buzzards circling over the highway and they were not flapping their wings, you pulled to the side of the road until they did and then you continued on your way. I could go on for many pages about her writings and story telling but I am going put several links to some good websites so you can read all about her. It will be worth your time to learn about this great lady.
Her funeral summed up who she was for she had it all planned. Several years ago she had a simple, pine casket built and stored in her garage after trying to unsuccessfully to buy one. She did not want to be embalmed or go to the funeral home and wanted her casket carried to the cemetery in a red pickup truck. The music at the burial was performed by those in attendance as they hummed "I'll Fly Away" while holding a comb with a piece of tissue paper to their mouth. All her wishes were fulfilled and one of the links will tell you all about it.
She lived a long, full and wonderful life and we were all blessed to have her in our lives. She will be missed and I urge you to read about her and read her books. I do know she is in heaven telling everyone about her beloved South and all about her ghost Jeffery who lived in her house. Maybe he will finally be at rest and go away.
There are several of her recipes I will share in the days to come for she compiled a great, Alabama cookbook and I use it a lot.
Ya'll be careful going home and come back to see me.
The Georgia Peach
Links: http://taletellin.selmaalabama.com/KathrynTuckerWindham.htm, http://enewscourier.com/local/x1814654285/Famous-storyteller-columnist-Kathryn-Windham-dies