Take a small town in southern Alabama, and a young lady, just slightly out of step. Add gnarly family trees, entrenched traditions, and everyone living with skeletons in their closets - welcome to Gallagher. There one will find an extraordinary cast of insane characters. And, it could only happen in the South.
Friday, July 21, 2017
Q.G. Hampton Rentals and Housing Co.
As one can imagine, a rental housing office has a regular cast of characters coming in and out. And Q.G. Hampton Rentals and Housing Co. was no exception. The characters included an 80 year old widow, "Miss" Ella, who is still living in the house that she and her late husband, Howard, raised their family. Wade promised her he would never tear it down or make her move out. He keeps it livable and comfortable for her, biding his time knowing that the valuable piece of real estate will be available at some time in the future.
There is Terse (as is Reginald Beauregard Jackson III) who drives a late model BMW, dresses as if he is out of GQ, and lives in the penthouse of one of Wade's newer fancy high rises. He is a regular visitor to the office around the 2nd of the month to pay his rent that is usually in arrears. Even though he lives on a trust account funded by his Dad (ie Reginald Beauregard Jackson, Jr.), obviously it is not enough to get him to the end of the month to pay his rent.
On this particular morning, being the beginning of the month the office was fairly busy. Buzz and Larry, the two maintenance men, had stopped by to get the daily list of work and issues that need to be tended to.
The Eldridge twins were in to pay their rent, which they always paid in cash - in ten dollar bills - $450. These ladies Flora and Cora were identical twin sisters who still dressed alike. They had lived together every day of their 70 years, never marrying. Rumor was, they never dated. Quite a curious pair.
"Miss" Ella walked in thrilled to see that Buzz and Larry were still there. "Boys, the screens in my front windows have fallen out once again. Do you think you can find time to drop by? Maybe around noon?" Buzz and Larry quickly assured her they would be there, knowing she would have plates of her famous chicken salad sandwiches and tomatoes from her garden waiting for them on the kitchen table. "Miss" Ella always got good service from the maintenance crew.
As "Miss" Ella walked out, a blond haired slight thing of a young girl entered, no more than 25 years old. Everyone in the office, stopped and turned toward the door. "Hi," she started in a very southern accent, "I'm Maisy Ruth Jackson and I'm looking for an apartment. My brother Terse recommended you. I hope you have something." Naturally, Bunny stepped forward, introduced herself and offered her a chair in her office.
Buzz looked over at Della, the lady who handled the front desk. "Lordly, Wade only has one Penthouse, where is Bunny going to put her?"
Della replied, "No sweat, you know Bunny always comes through."
It wasn't anytime before Maisy Ruth and Bunny walked out of the office. "Della will you pull out a rental packet, the keys, and a map for that unit on Spring Street. Maisy Ruth says that is where she would like to live."
Knowing they had Terse's habits in mind, Bunny just smiled before anyone could say anything, "We looked at everything available."
Maisy Ruth thanked Bunny, said good bye, and left the office on her way to the unit on Spring Street. Larry went to the window. "I've seen everything now. That there Jackson is driving what looks like a 7 or 8 year old Accord. What's wrong with this picture?"
"Now y'all behave yourselves. You know families are made up of all sorts. I'm sure she will be a lovely tenant."
"Speaking of lovely tenants," Della said as the door opened and a gentlemen who only lacked a horse to look like the Marlboro man sauntered in. At the same time, Bunny and Della, both looking star struck said, "Why, what can I do for you sir?"
"Well ladies, seems I need a place to live. And I was told this was the place to come."
"Yes sir we try our best to serve. Come in my office and let's find out what we might have that will suit your needs," Bunny said as she led the way. "Oh and I'm Bunny, I'm sorry where are my manners."
"Sam, mam, Sam Peters." Suddenly things were looking up. Why nothing this good ever came up as a match on her eHarmony.com profile.
"Well Mr. Peters. . ."
"Oh, its just Sam."
"Well then Sam, what are you looking for in particular?"