I have searched my brain for words that will unite us. I think everyone has experienced these same common feelings that John voiced of regret and anguish, so this podcast echoes and relates to all of the fans worldwide.
However, there are extremists in any situation and they take it upon themselves to send hate mail and make phone calls to you at all hours. This has happened.
So I will try to inform you and entertain you, so that we can relate on common ground, in a positive way.
I completely understand that you want more of this story. I hate for a good book to end myself. Here’s a little insight from someone on the inside.
For the record, I have been known to show my behind. On one such occasion, 30 plus years ago, I was getting ready for a beauty walk.
My Aunt Pat and Mrs. Jo Gray Burt were doing the honors. No such occasion can begin without a bubble bath. I admit I loved the attention. I posed for pictures in a tub full of bubbles laying flat on my belly. I didn’t know that there was a circle missing in the bubbles that clearly showed my behind. They laughed and made a little girl feel not only special, but beautiful.
I have no doubt that I was then dusted with Estee Lauder Private Collection. I was also cautioned to be real careful because Aunt Pat was allowing me to wear real diamond earrings.
Mrs. Burt, to this day, will tell me she is going to find those pictures and give them to me. I am not so sure I want them to be found. Except for the fact, that they are a wonderful memory.
I always felt sorry for myself in moments where my mother was absent. I cannot believe that I was surrounded by so much love that I could not see it. It makes me feel ashamed and not to mention, ungrateful.
It pains me to know that Mrs. Burt has been upset over this podcast. I think when you are 80 plus years old, life should be joyful. You see, she named KyKenKee, herself. Not after the organization it has been associated with, but for her three young boys at the time. Her pride and joy-Kyle, Kendall, and Keefe.
I know how much thought and love you put into naming your children. Anyone that has ever named a child, knows this. The K names carried on through the next generation and if I am counting correctly, there are 9 grandchildren as well. Maybe K12 would sound better to some.
But, back then it was the days of Big Valley and Bonanza. She combined the names of her boys in a likely fashion and KyKenKee was born. A simple home place and a small business.
But John loved to shock you. Associations and ramblings have made him infamous around here and abroad. He was also quick to apologize and even hang his head. I know this personally. I was on the receiving end of some of his shock myself. I still loved him.
That’s how we are around here. We fuss and fight and run you down. We forgive and bake casseroles. We may not like you, but we love your momma and your grandmother. We wonder out loud how you turned out like you did because we know you were “raised right”.
If John were here, I would hug him and tell him to apologize to Mrs. Burt. And he would have.
Don’t hate me for explaining. I am only trying to return the simple kindness of a Southern lady that I truly admire and want to be more like one day.
I was also welcomed at another home that you podcast listeners are more familiar with and that was the home of Mrs. Mary Grace McLemore. When I arrived, you would have thought I was the Queen of England. I now think her guests were rare, because she was so excited and proper.
Ironically, Mrs. Burt and Mrs. Mary Grace sat in the same doctor’s office recently. Mrs. Mary Grace mistook one of the Burt men for his Uncle, which is understandable with her dementia. Of all the memories that she has lost, it saddens me to know that she doesn’t forget that John Brooks, as she called him, is gone. She softens the word suicide and substitutes it with, “You know he helped himself along”. She doesn’t know of the podcast.
From what I have heard, the purchase of the land has helped to provide for the personal care of Mrs. Mary Grace and rather than a nursing home, she is being cared for by a beautiful lady that I would have hand picked myself. It is wonderful to know that in her final years, she will be cared for and more importantly, loved.
If you take nothing from this podcast, take this to the bank. I have found the gold. It lies within my memories. I prefer to remember Mrs. Jo Gray Burt laughing by a bathtub instead of struggling with aging as we all do. I remember that spit-fire Mrs. Mary Grace with the hospitality of royalty who did not struggle to remember.
Thank you ladies for your kindness to me and to each other. There is no family feud. We take care of our own with great pride around here.
I am forever indebted and owe you many thanks
from the little girl,
the young lady,
The First Lady of S-Town