My Life A Bit South of Normal

Monday, July 23, 2018

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Barbara suggested that she and Jerry get a drink, so they walked toward the bar. They were about there when the Colonel approached them dressed in full regalia. In his courteous fashion, he  doffed his hat. Looking at Barbara he said, "Evening, mam." Looking at Jerry, he smiled, "Sir." With that he donned his hat and walked off, Jerry's eyes trailing him.

"Okay, okay, okay, so you didn't make it all up," Jerry said shaking his head.

"Oh, there is more," Barbara added.

"Why am I not surprised?"

Barbara pointed toward the bar as they approached it. "That is Ike, the bartender."

"How old is he? The age of Methuselah?"

"Maybe, but he is the bartender at Dot's Do Drop In."

"You're making that up!"

"I couldn't if I tried." She took a breath, "Oh, boy. Prepare yourself."

Jerry turned to see a young lady quickly walking toward them. Without taking a breath the young lady started, "Oh, Ms. Burch, you are back. I knew you would come back to make a movie about Gallagher. Why I told Walter when you walked out that day that we would see more of you. I just knew it."

Not being able to remember her name, Barbara turned to Jerry,  "This young lady works at the 'Half Moon Coffee House'."

Mae stuck out her hand, "Mae, well Mary Margaret Macaulay, but everyone calls me Mae. See my Mama's name was Margaret Nadine McFadden, everyone called her Margaret McFadden. Well that was until she married Daddy. Then Margaret McFadden Macaulay was a bit much. My grandmama, on my Daddy's side, was named Lillian Mae McDougal. Of course after she married my granddaddy she was Lillian Mae McDougal Macaulay. But we called her Granny Lily. Anyway,  I was named after my Mama and Granny Lily, but the family thought it would be confusing to call me Margaret Mae, so they just call me 'Mae."

Jerry, having lost interest before Mae got to her mother, offered his hand, "Jerry Moore, just Jerry."

She turned to Barbara, "And it's the 'Starlight Cafe'." Barbara seemed lost. "Where I work is the Starlight Cafe, not the whatever coffee house. We don't have a coffee house here, but we do have a Tea Room - the Goodness Gracious Tea Room. These 2 ladies got together . . ."

Interrupting Mae, to save her and Jerry more pain from her rattling on, Barbara just said, "Mae, great seeing you."

"Y'all come by the Starlight Cafe before you leave." She smiled. "And, Miss Burch, remember I have acting experience and would love a part in your movie."

"Oh yes, I haven't forgotten."

Jerry looked at Barbara quizzically, "Acting experience? And what films have you been in?"

Mae blushed,"Oh, I've never been in a real movie, but I played the second witch in our middle school year end play, 'The Wizard of Oz.' I was quite good if I must say so myself. In fact Mr. Fielding, the teacher who was directing the play, told me  . . ."

"Oh Jerry," Barbara said in mock distress, "I think I left my cell phone at the hotel. We need to go back and get it."

Mae brightened up, "Oh, I've done that plenty of times. But, it wasn't in a hotel. See I haven't been in many hotels. Well there was that summer . . ."

"Mae it was great seeing you, but I'm afraid we need to go get my phone."

She and Jerry smiled, not saying another word for fear it would lead into another one of Mae's monologues.

Walter walked up just as Barbara and Jerry had left. "Was that the Hollywood producer?"

"Oh, it was," said Mae, not taking her eyes off the 2 as they walked off. "Oh, Walter, I'm so excited. I know she came back to make the movie and I'm going to be a star."

"She said that huh?"

"Well, not exactly. But, I have that feeling . . . you know that woman's intuition." She was giddy. Then she put her hand on Walter's arm. "Oh, you know I'll stay with you until you can find a replacement."

"Mae, I'm not worried about that. If all this comes to past, we'll work it out." He paused. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, he added,"Trust me, you are truly one of a kind."

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