My little brother, Keeter, called last night and said he was shutting down 2011 a little early. I asked why he would do such a thing, and he said he had big plans for New Year’s Eve that involved illegal whiskey and he was warming up because he had the rest of the week off.
When Keeter does not do anything else right, he just sits around and makes sense and wishes the weather would warm up enough for him to go fishing. But he worries a lot, Keeter does. He said, “I was thinking about coming down there while I have time off, but I’m scared that global cooling may have hit Ralph’s pond so hard the bluegills won’t be biting.”
And I told him that bluegills mostly sleep in late December and they don’t pay a lot of attention to the weather. And Keeter said, “But you don’t have frozen Catalpa worms because that will wake ‘em up and really put ‘em on the hook.”
And I told him I had never tried it and he said, “You ought to.”
When Keeter is on the job, he runs a huge loader with a bucket so big we could all park in it and he could lift us up and dump us over the hill. He listens to Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin and Ralph Stanley there in the cab and dreams about learning to play the mandolin even though he is the best bluegrass rhythm guitar player I’ve ever heard. Keeter, unlike me, still has some ambition. I gave up trying to seriously play the French harp many years ago. But I can harmonize with Dolly and that’s enough to retire on. (Hey, Porter did it.) Points East
So I asked, “Keeter, where are you getting this liquor?” and he said, “You ought to know.” And I said, “But he has been dead now for over 10 years ?”
And Keeter said, “But Brenda ain’t.”
And I said, “Brenda who?”
And he said, “Remember that little squirt that used to untie your shoe laces?”
I did so fondly recall the times when the little brat made fun of my shoes when we went visiting.
Keeter said, “Brenda got the recipe right before Will died.” (Names have been changed here to protect the innocent.).
So, as I send my readers best wishes for a happy New Year, I will be sitting at home with Loretta wishing I could be in the head of Blair Branch and reliving old times. But I am on medication that does not mix with alcohol so I stay home and avoid temptation.
I would still like to take a sniff of Brenda’s ‘shine because I could tell if it was in the same league as her grandpa’s just by smelling the jar. On the other hand, I don’t think I could stand to even hold the jar without taking a least one little sip and then I’d be in trouble.
Happy New Year, everybody!