Ink on vellum, mixed media, measures 7" x 9"
Southern Gothic Lesson #13
"Wednesday is wash day as everyone knows and many important lessons are handed down during the weekly ritual of hanging the wash out to dry. My important position was—Clothespin Bag Holder. The bag was more than half the size of me, made from blue and white, cotton ticking; the same fabric that covered my bed pillow. A metal ring ran around the top of the bag that held it open for easy access to the wooden pins that clumped in a heavy mass at the bottom like a pile of old, dry chicken bones that constantly tried to escape through the worn holes in the seams. Hands clinched tight, little arms shaking from effort as Maw Maw would scoop a handful of pins out of my bag and clip several to the top edge of her gingham apron. The rest would protrude from her lips waiting their turn to be useful. As she selected another wet garment from her wicker basket and moved to the next vacant space on the clothesline I kept in perfect step never neglecting my prominent title of Clothespin Bag Holder. As we slowly made our way through the bottomless basket of Wednesday’s chore, Maw Maw would tell me stories that were destined to live in my blossoming imagination forever and she never tired of my relentless questions that always started with the word—why? “Why is Wednesday always wash day?” “Because they both start with the letter W.” “Why do those clouds look like scary monsters?” “Because God is angry with your uncle Turk for blowing his entire paycheck on booze.” “Maw Maw, why does Paw Paw chew tobacco?’ “To make me mad! He’s crazy!” “Why do you turn the shirts and sweaters inside out before you hang them on the line?” “So those blasted birds can’t steal the buttons off of them!...crows like shiny things.” ...crows like shiny things."