Thursday, August 5, 2010

Free Willie Part 2

When we moved back South one of my new friends was Willie. He was the gardener for the people who lived across the street from us.

He was a black gentleman in his 70s and he knew exceptional dogs when he spotted them because he would always make a fuss over BJ Honeycutt our chocolate lab and Mr. Sam Pickens our English Pointer. He called BJ "Big Red" and  said he'd take him off of our hands if we ever had to give him up.
He also admired our Crown Victoria."Big Bertha sure is a fine automobile. They don't make them like that anymore"
Willie was the kind of man who would seed my yard with winter rye grass just to be friendly and once when BJ threw out his shoulder Willie was who I called to help me get him to the vet.
They don't make them like Willie anymore either.
Came the day..... When Papa Joe felt like it was time to replace my car.  She had 179,000 miles on her.
We always donate our cars so I asked if we could bequeath her to Willie. Joe thought that was a fine idea.
Since we were living an hour’s drive away from the house we had started out in I called Willie to ask him if he was still interested.
He surely was so we met at the courthouse that week and signed all of the adoption papers.
It had been so long since we'd lived up North that I had forgotten about the Dixie button on the dashboard.
Three nights after we left the courthouse I sat bolt upright in bed and said "Joe! I gave a car that plays Dixie to a black man!"
All I could hope was that Willie wouldn't discover that button and think I was a bad person.
Nearly a year later I was in the Winn Dixie parking lot when I heard my name being called out. I turned around to see a beaming Willie all propped up in the driver's seat of Big Bertha.
"Oh, Willie" I blurted out "How are you?  I hope you don't think I'm a bad person because that car plays Dixie?!
You see I lived up North and I needed something to remind me of the South."
His kind, accepting and gracious eyes looked back at me as he said "Of course not. We're friends. But I'll tell you this......... No one in my neighborhood has one like it!"
I imagine not.

No comments:

Post a Comment