Oh, lord, Honey, what a tiz I have been in these past few weeks what with all the hullabaloo about Proud Flesh–do you know it made it to #4 on the local best-seller list at Parnassus Book store–and then with one of those original T’s having to have surgery to fix her you-know-what and then I heard that that Ginger Manley got dressed up in a formal and high heels and started flat footing to the tune of “Rocky Top” at the state DAR convention with the national grand regent lady sitting there with her big old blue sash and her almost crown but she didn’t seem to be offended because I think somebody sitting near her told her it is required to start dancing when “Rocky Top” is played and she is from Texas so she understands these things pretty well–and then Ginger taking a road trip and riding horses up in the Smokies and being almost exactly next to the Vols football stadium and seeing all those Vol Nation flags a fluttering and me just so happy to receive such nice little fan letters from some of those ladies what have read PF and oh, lord, it is almost enough to make a girl lose her head, but I have kept mine on ’cause that is what my mama, that would be Rainey, rest in peace, taught me to do whenever things came along and she just always told me to not get a big head because by tomorrow it could all blow over and you would just have to keep putting on your panties one leg at a time so that is what I have done even though I did have just one tiny little margarita to celebrate the nice letter written by that lady in Atlanta what read the book and here is what she said–she actually wrote to Ginger but I got to read it–“I just finished reading Proud Flesh and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. First, I wasn’t sure about that title until I read the explanation and now I see how perfectly it applies to your story. Wow! I am utterly impressed with your writing skills and story-telling. I especially love the format – interweaving several stories at once producing total harmony at the end. I confess that I expected a much lighter fare based on Trixie’s blog and your sense of humor, but the depth of the story so uniquely exposed layer by layer caught me off guard, even eliciting tears. Thank goodness for the ever-amusing, transparent and endearing Trixie, et al. to lighten and actually bring “sanity” to the heavier moments. In a weird way, the cousins actually provide somewhat of a role model for navigating the hard places in life. Finally, how much better does it get in the end when all the characters are patting hands… and dancing. Absolutely loved it! Thanks for a MOST thought provoking yet entertaining book.”
Honey, isn’t that just the nicest letter in the whole wide world, and if that is not enough, this lady in Chattanooga just wrote, “MOST fun to have read every word about Carroll by this morning!!! I savored the experience, recognized some autobiography, identified with ‘Southern-ness’, was pleasantly surprised by the ending, & appreciated your creativity which wove them all together so well.”
And then, yesterday this other lady wrote and said, “I just finished PROUD FLESH. You have done a great job describing the reality of women of our generation. Job well done.”
Oh, lord, honey, this mail just brings tears to my eyes. I know Ginger Manley was hoping lots of folks would read this book before Mother’s Day even though I cannot tell you why–cross my heart and hope to die if I give away the secret, but I will just say if you do, you’d better have a hankie close by. Which brings me to the fact that next weekend is Mother’s Day and it is the 12th anniversary of the ending of Proud Flesh and honey, every year I live on this earth I just get to be so thankful for being a mother and for having a mother and for what Carroll learned that helped her to move through what she needed to move through and to start dancing again, even though I do not think she would ever dance to “Rocky Top” in her best dress and high heels at the state DAR convention.
Well, you know who is sitting here looking at me like he needs to go tee-tee so I will stop now and say I hope every single one of you what reads this gets to have a nice Mother’s Day and that you will go and do something extra nice for yourself, since it’s possible all those other people who you mothered might not think about it until after the day is over.