I’ve talked about Mama and Daddy, but you haven’t met my Aunt Gladys yet. Her visits were a lifeline for me during those lonely years on Pungo Creek
Her visits were short. She usually arrived late on a Friday night and left before dark on Sunday. I tried stay awake for her arrival. Sometimes I could but I usually fell asleep on the sofa and awoke to the sound of Mama and Aunt Gladys laughing and talking together in the kitchen. Mama missed Aunt Gladys too. On Saturday mornings we had a big breakfast with cut-up eggs, ham, biscuits, red-eye gravy and quince preserves. In the evening I would sit in the kitchen and listen to Mama and Aunt Gladys talking and laughing. She would trim my bangs. I would breath in the Aunt Gladys smells as she leaned over me. There was Evening in Paris perfume. Max Factor pancake makeup. Hairspray. Coffee. Wrigley’s spearmint chewing gum. Aunt Gladys slept in my bed and I slept on the sofa. Her smell lingered on my sheets long after I stood in the middle of the dirt road and watched the back on Aunt Gladys’ Studebacker disappear in the dust.