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Bad Boyz

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  Daddy fooled around with his best friend’s wife, and Mama got even with the Dutch Oven delivery boy.  Then came the D-I-V-O-R-C-E, but they didn’t bother spelling it out. Daddy went to live with his mommy on South Alexander Street. Mama moved us girls in with Mama and Papa Dorsey and Aunt Pam on the corner of Hill and E Park. Mama got a job at the University Yacht Club on Lake Lanier and took to partying down every night with Winston filter tip cigarettes, Mr. Bud, and a rowdy blond bugbear.  Mama Dorsey frowned upon her debauchery. Papa ranted.  A divorcĂ©e with little kids had no business out painting the town. Mama swore she was going to do what she wanted to do come hell or high water, which became her mantra and her tragedy.   They reunited two years later and decided to pull up roots.  The memory of that trip lingers in flashing black and white lights. Vickie is in the back seat. I am standing up between Mama and Daddy as he wheels up 23 Highway toward an old and unimprov

CHRISTMAS SHADOWS

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Buford, GA, Christmas 2010,  Photo Courtesy John Marbury All my Yuletide memories stretch back to the year long ago when Christmas fell on the season of lilies and dogwood… I’m a Btown baby delivered by the legendary Dr. Harry Hutchens in 1956 at Hutchens Memorial Hospital on Scott and W Park Streets in Buford. I came into the world on the wrong side of the tracks a few blocks down from the magical mansions I would one daydream on. Mama was seventeen years old, and I was her firstborn. Apparently, I did gymnastics in the womb, and then one day I went stone cold still. Daddy rushed her to the hospital, and Dr. Harry assured her I was just fine. When he slapped my butt, I screamed, “You’re mean!” and I’ve been yapping ever since. My first home was down the street from the little hospital. Sometime after that, we moved into the little house on Hamilton Mill Road where that little brain clerk woke up and began to peck out the events of my life. I remember the day Vickie invaded our f

This Hunger (Part One)

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The second time I suspected I was pregnant, I was a fourteen-year-old floor scrubber, dishwasher,  and waitress at Teens Diner on Hill Street.  I’ve been a bean, and I’ve been a squash, and I’ve been a watermelon. Can you dig it? Even when I was thin, I wasn’t thin enough. The truth is, I never got enough to eat. Now, make no mistake, Mama always had a stocked pantry, but I always had this hunger—even when I was a bitty little girl. I remember attending a potluck dinner somewhere out toward Harmony.  I must have been three years old. Someone brought fried okra, and I would have eaten it all and licked the bowl clean had Mama not refused to let me have a second helping. Later, when I was eight or ten, I’d eat five hamburgers at Mama and Papa Dorsey’s cookouts at the Fraizer house on Carter Road in Flowery Branch. “You’re going to be big as a barn,” Daddy would half-kid. I did have a fat spurt during prepubescence.  I was downright almost plump. Mama was aghast. She g

The Funky Shotgun Slug Jitterbug

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Christine Dorsey Wiggins Sloan (Mama) In the spring of 1977, Vickie and I flew the coop, also known as the trailer on the hill across Sawnee Avenue from the American Legion Post 127. We moved into a furnished flat at Eagle Creek Apartments. Our place was around back where families with varmints were stashed. I earned my Coke and bodice rippers by keeping children—a baby, three toddlers, a preschooler, an eight-year-old girl, her younger brother, and a six-year-old boy who one day tracked Georgia red clay across my kitchen and halfway into the living room. He  turned around, looked at the mud and at me, and said, “Get it up.” That, friends, was the last day I kept that stinker.       Vickie worked at Lovable and spend evenings watching TV with her boyfriend. I read bodice rippers all night and sleepwalked during the day, baked the shortbread our dear babysitter, Eula Mae Stone, had ready for us after school many a day and popped prescription diet pills.   Vickie and I went to se