Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Remarkable Theft (or how we do things around here)


Uncle Hagen, the one they called Todey; he married Nanny B’s girl, Sharla, that scrawny little thing. And they had two beautiful boys, Jamey and Johnnie. But Sharla took ill with her youngest, and it just got worse and worse, until finally she died. Can you imagine that, twenty-four year old and knowing you’re gonna die, and just feeling worse and worse all the time and nothing you can do about it. Well, she weren’t but a skinny little thing anyway. And her poor husband watching her go like that, and with those the two little boys and all. And Loosha Bloodwurth was there taking care of her all that time, but she weren’t no real nurse or anything, just doing what she could to help out as best she could.

But Nanny B was powerful hurt by Sharla dying like that, ‘cause you know she’d just lost her boy Frankie in the war, over on Iwo Jima, and she didn’t have anybody since they’d locked her husband away when he was acting strange and all. And now all she had in the whole world was those two little boys, her grandkids. So she gave the farm to them, and moved into a little bitty house in town. And then Todey and Loosha got married and had themselves a little girl, Maddie. But Loosha already had a child, Jada. Loosha’s husband was killed over there in Iwo Jima too. So there you go.

But the funny thing is, you know Loosha was never really in love with her husband, her first husband that is, Jada’s daddy, the one that got killed. She was always in love with her childhood sweetheart which was Nanny B’s boy Frankie. So she lost two men in that war. It’s funny the way that works out, isn’t it. But she and Todey got along just fine out there on Nanny B’s farm.

Now what I heard about how they got that farm is this.You know Loosha’s brother Buford was the sheriff, well she had all those brothers and sisters anyway. Maddie once told me she had near a hundred cousins, just in Sarpy County alone, what with the Marsh’es and Brooks’es, and Bloodwurths, and Grimes’es and Whitbys, and Williams’es, and a bunch more I guess. But so Buford’s Loosha’s brother…and Todey, acting on behalf of the two little boys, sells the farm to Buford for one whole dollar. And then Buford of course turns around and sells it back to Todey for two dollars, or whatever, and that’s that. I don’t know what the law would think about that, but Buford being the sheriff, I reckon nobody said nothing about it.

But that aint the half of it. You know Todey worked real hard to make a good life for himself and his family; driving all the way down to Griffin everyday, and that’s over an hour each way, and spending all those long hours at the office. God knows what he was doing down there, but he never got home ‘til late every night. And then after all that he got to be quite a wealthy man. Built that big new house and bought a house on the lake and ski boat and sailboat, all that sorta stuff. And he always took such good care of the farm too, him and Jamey - Johnnie never was much into gettin his hands dirty, and neither of the two girls, neither. But him and Jamey kept that farm looking like God’s own back yard, pretty as picture.

And then after all that, well Jada run off and got married to some no account boy; and poor little Maddie married that crazy sailor boy from Australia; and they was at each other’s throats all the time. And of course when they finally got divorced, he took their little boy and stole him away, and went back home to his own country.

Well, Maddie and her folks were just beside themselves over that ‘cause that little tow-headed boy Ricky was about everything to them, I think he spent more time with the grandparents than anyone else. So of course Maddie took her daddy’s checkbook and went over there to look for her boy. And well she finally found him, but it took about a year, and about all the money that Todey’s saved up after all those years of working so hard. So he never did get that heart surgery and really didn’t last too long after that. And then years later Maddie got so really sick with the cancer and her momma sold off the lake house and most of the farm to pay all the bills, that and sending little Ricky to those expensive private schools.

So finally when Maddie passed on, and by the way, I never did see any of those hundred cousins at her send off, just us Marsh’es mostly and that one Brooks boy, and one of the Grimes’es; I guess she burned a lot of bridges over the years. But then Loosha started going downhill herself, what with burying her husband and now her daughter. So about that time Jada and her husband move in with her and then they put Loosha in the home and so they wind up with what’s left of the farm. Can you imagine, here Jada aint no blood kin of Todey or the two boys or Nanny B or any of ‘em. And Jamey and Johnnie, who Nanny B actually gave the farm to, well they didn’t get nothing. Can you imagine.

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