Wednesday, July 10, 2013

At Tainie's
















My mother's first cousin, Marion, and her family are my favorite relatives on my mother's side of the family.  I idolized Marion when I was a little girl.  She would visit us, bestowing kisses, laughter and joy everywhere she went.  We all loved her.  One of my oft-repeated childhood memories, that sounds less memorable when repeated, is that she took me to the toy store and told me to pick out anything I wanted.  I chose Mr. Potato Head although Marion was pushing for a bike.  I loved that Mr. Potato Head with his many possible facial expressions!  The other enduring Marion-memory is that she taught me to smoke when I was about twelve, encouraging me to inhale by pointing out how much prettier the exhaled smoke looked if it had gone through my lungs and left behind all that unattractive tar and nicotine.  She didn't mention the tar and nicotine part, but it's a possible reason the smoke streamed out in a more delicate cloud, so I'm going with it.

Marion's daughter, Fontaine, is one of my favorite people, in or out of the family, in the whole world.  It was at her home that we spent the afternoon.  I want to be her best friend, because she's incredibly warm and funny and strong.  I want to go to one of her girls' weekends and ride one of her horses, with her, through the lakes and woods and fields of her land like her thirty other best friends who post the pictures on fb.  Tainie, as we call her, is pictured pointing out some stream creature or another to Denton and also in the picture with me where, sadly, the tops of both our heads are cut off.

George, Tainie's dad, came by and still as cool as ever.  It was he to whom Winston Bloom dedicated his book, Forrest Gump, and he who was the original Gerber Baby.  He's a player, polo and otherwise. I mean that in the most complimentary way possible!  As I walked away from his truck, that day, he said "Madeleine…  you still have that look in your eye." - words that I'll live on for the rest of my life!  Whew.

Yes, those Mobile relatives with their debutante parties, mint juleps, and polo know how to have fun, as evidenced by the massive amount of crawfish and the picture of Marion teaching Denton bar tricks.  Our Bartlett spent the night with Fontaine's boys, Sandy and Rad, and maybe some other people, who knows, so I suspect the education of cousins continues.  Although, Bartlett, being an eighteen year old  southern boy himself was probably no stranger to the Mobile way of life.

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