OLWG #286- The Villebeck Funerary

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. A bit longer than normal, but I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

When my Grandpa died, he wanted a full-on funeral – one with all the bells and whistles. He wanted a bunch of things, including a parade complete with dancing girls from the strip club on Highway 68, but that didn’t happen. He got a private internment with a memorial service on the day after. We scheduled the memorial for the third day of the month, and the service was to be at the Fierce Baptist Church on Spruce Street, Presided over by Preacher Maclaren.

Scheduled to start at 1400, it allowed enough time for a proper memorial service. We could listen to a few testimonials, and some condolences could be passed around. There would still be plenty of opportunity to gather at the house after to eat, drink, and tell stories.

So we all gathered in Villebeck to pay our respects.

Grandpa and Grandma had four children, my Uncle Harry, my dad, and my aunts, Beth and Carrie. Each of the children had three to five kids of their own, so it grew exponentially. A whole passel of aunts, uncles, and cousins showed up for Grandpa.

It was well known, but never spoken about, that Grandpa had always kept company with Miss Sydney Dupre, who lived across town. She and Grandpa also had three kids of their own The Dupre branch of the family decided that they should attend, and I, for one, couldn’t have agreed more. So we also had them. My new uncles: William and Connel, came with my new aunt Patience. They all came from out of town and brought their families. New Uncle William came with his wife, Lexi. New Uncle Connel brought Joanne, who was at least six inches taller than her husband and outweighed him by maybe fifty or sixty pounds. She was a hoot.

New aunt Patience also brought her wife, Kizzie. Kizzie had an unplaceable European accent, and I loved listening to her talk; her voice was music.

Everyone from out of town stayed at our house for ‘bout two nights.

All the bedrooms were full. Every bed got filled, and each couch was folded out and occupied. Sleeping bags, suitcases, shaving kits, makeup bags, and the like littered all the empty floor space.

My cousin, Nash, the oldest son of Beth and her husband June, spent the entire time holding court in the kitchen. He chain-smoked Lucky Strikes and hugged a bottle of Tequila. Two cases of Bud Light sat stacked on the floor next to his chair. He meticulously placed the empties back from the same spot in the cardboard box from whence they had come. Only when a bottle was resecured and repositioned properly would he remove another. His mother, my Aunt Beth, decided to spend her time migrating from bed to bed and sleeping roll to sleeping roll in a futile attempt to find someone with whom she could cuddle. When it became apparent that intervention was necessary, I pulled my uncle June aside to have a quick word with him. It turned out that Beth was drinking again. June kept her close from then on and rationed her hooch.

Then there was the thin guy with the grey ponytail. He told me that his name was Murphy. I was trying to figure out how he might fit in with the rest of us. Why was he even here? He spent most of his time sitting on the screened-in porch entertaining the young folk. He was rolling funny-smelling cigarettes and sharing them with the teenagers and other young’uns. We made it a point to keep the real young kids off the porch with Mad Murphy but didn’t interfere too much with the teenagers and young adults.

On the morning of the service, everyone showed up in the kitchen at the same time, looking for breakfast. That was a challenge we had not anticipated, or perhaps we had just been in denial. Jessie baked a couple of big sweet potato pies. I found a flat holding at least two dozen eggs in the beer fridge. I didn’t know how old they were.

Somebody found a pound of bacon in their ice chest. It was only a little green around the edges, so I trimmed the bacon and scrambled the eggs. Bacon, eggs, and sweet potato pie make for a mighty good breakfast. Everybody that came looking got a bit of food and then scattered around to tell stories about Grandpa.

We all made it to Spruce Street on time and listened to Preacher Maclaren say some nice things about Grandpa while Cousin Nash snored in the pew.

It turns out that Murphy was a big-time importer of black-market Mexican weed and a friend of my Uncle Harry. A nice guy, Murphy, provides quality merchandise at an affordable price. He still comes up to visit from time to time.

This week’s prompts are:

  1. Lewis and Clark
  2. living in a cheap hotel
  3. the woman he’d met in Greece

 You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!


4 thoughts on “OLWG #286- The Villebeck Funerary

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