Tommy tells Aunt Norma about his date – an excerpt from the book
Aunt Norma smiles at me, and I take a mouthful of toast.
“Well, I got to go,” she says. “Cora tried to change a light bulb, bless her heart. I’m going to drop off a covered dish and help out a while.”
She comes around the table and kisses the top of my head.
“There’s another green bean casserole. You have some when you get hungry. I don’t know when I’ll be back.”
I nod and say, “There was a street preacher last night. In front of Loews.”
Aunt Norma raises her eyebrows and waits for me to explain.
“He came out of nowhere, he did. Shouting Bible verses. New Testament. I think one of the epistles. And then the cops came. There was a scuffle and someone hit the guy in the face with a bottle or something.”
She sets the casserole back on the counter. She puts a hand to her cheek.
“Well that’s something you don’t see every day. What did your Evelyn think?”
“He frightened her.”
“Yeah, he was crazy.”
Aunt Norma chuckles, then stops herself.
“When I was a girl we used to see them like that. At revival meetings mostly. Homespun preachers and snake handlers that come out of the hills. From out near Chattanooga, I guess. Real hillbillies. Talking about how they shall take up serpents, and that they shall not get hurt. That they shall lay their hands upon the sick. That sort of stuff.”
I shake my head.
“Really, you saw all that?”
“Why sure, a lot of people come watch. I think they just wanted to see if any of them get bit.”
“Not that I ever saw.”