Scars are souvenirs you never lose…

I am very sentimental.  When the kids were growing up, I did not enjoy my stuff I collected.  But, the rubbermaid tubs have been opened recently.  

Now that I have a guest room, it is full of things I love.

I bought Mrs. Helen Hartley’s home interior board at a yard sale and I cover it with things I love.  Letters, cards, etc.

Mrs. Helen was my daddy’s neighbor.  She would come over to his porch and talk.  When she had not been to the beauty shop, Daddy would say, “Who combed your hair Mrs. Helen, J.W.?”  (J.W. was her husband.)  She would laugh and make excuses and pat her hair.  

I can imagine that board pinned with gold butterflies.  I bet it was carried to many homes around town.

These are a few of my favorite things

There is an empty cornmeal bag from Arvell Kornegay.  I can picture him working the mill at Tannehill or better yet, driving the train.  I kept it in the freezer for years.  I finally figured I better make dressing, but I couldn’t throw the bag away.

A pin from my journalism class.

A letter from my mom when I was in college.  Aunt Genevieve, Aunt Mamie,etc.,etc.

And John.

My Goo Goo Doll CD’s.  My custom ones with his handwriting.  His things.

When this podcast came out.  It was very painful to hear his voice.  Episode 2 was absolutely devastating for me.  I sat in my bed and cried and cried.

And, I don’t cry. 

Everyone was talking.  I could not finish it.

Friends encouraged me to finish it.  I am glad I did.

I have been told that it was a compliment to be featured in the end.  Brian told me his favorite part was my door.

I have been in John’s house with John.  Sitting and staring up at a row of Furbies. The bookshelves were full. Remembering is good for me.  Except for his casual mention of his “letter”.

I felt this end would come.  I never dreamed of all this.  

Do I wish I had went to his house? Yes.

Did I say, “No John, you sued me.”


That is what I said to the podcast listeners trying to explain why I did not go.  Apparently, I  was misunderstood. 

I never saw the court documents either.  John and I sat on a bench and worked it out.

We talked on the phone.  We talked in the store.  The police chief called me and told me the news.  

I did not go to the funeral.  I have been to his grave.

Our relationship did not end.  As long as I am alive it never will.

Screenshot of Name Lyrics

Right now, he would fuss about the Goo Goo Dolls and say he would never listen to them again.  I listen to them over and over.

His final letter was beautiful.  I had those flower talks with him.  On the table, there are 2 Bellingrath books-his and mine.  That was our common ground, our love of flowers.  I can tell the difference between them because his has a library card. 

He probably stole it.  I probably laughed.

Don’t try this at home, 


5 thoughts on “Scars are souvenirs you never lose…

  1. Cheryl, I grew up in a small Missippippi town in the Delta and I understand about being trapped in your surroundings, not me, I left at 18, still go back and still appreciate where I came from.
    I know of and knew geniuses like John. There are many John’s out there locked into small communities and unable to leave for a better or different life,
    and I appreciate knowing him through the podcast and knowing you through your blog.
    My family came from Florence and Athens in the thirties looking for farm work that they found, cotton farming or farming for the Planter deep in the Delta, later factories. I have never know anyone that worked any harder than my Mama and Mama’s big family, they knew know to do everything!
    I love your recipes and I have searched for the Biscuit oudding and I have not found it, will you publish?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Cheryl! I live not too far away. I love your blog. It reminds me of growing up around here and coming to visit my grandmother, who lived in Birmingham. My folks had a Bellingrath book too. It’s a beautiful place.

    Liked by 1 person

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