Glen Eades' column in the Magnolia Banner News:

November 8, 1990

Bubba Earl and the
Texas Beauty Queen

   The Brister summer is gone and Bubba Earl has exited the scene to greener pastures.  He announced his decision Monday after we smoked nine fat possums out of a hollow log and invited the neighbors to dinner.  We also invited a young lady who claimed to be a former Miss Texas.  We met up with her again at the court house in Magnolia where she was required to attend a meeting.  The meeting followed a misunderstanding between her and a gentleman who claimed some paper she wrote on was worthless.

   A week before the possum windfall, Bubba Earl had taken the beauty queen and a jug of stump-rot for a ride in our pickup to commemorate the happy reunion.  But his safe return took several days longer than we expected.  Well, my woman is a little edgy since the pea patch is gone and winter is close.  And the lack of job opportunities for Billy Joe and I probably created a little more concern than usual.  She knows cold weather is only a few weeks away, and how hard it is to find our kind of work when the weather is frightful.  Anyway, she wore no smile while she cleaned peanut hulls, sugar cane peelings and possum bones from the pickup.  Then she wasted no time getting to the source of her anger.

   My better half had prepared a dissertation for Bubba Earl before he returned from his vacation.  Leaving out the small talk, she scolded him for being a no account loafer, for sponging off his poor old maw, for sleeping on the front porch while she picked and canned peas, and for what she claimed was disgusting behavior.  Then she chided him for riding the pigs around in the pickup and getting the seats all dirty and not being able to go anywhere without getting her clothes filthy.

   After the lecture was over about his leading the life of a completely normal male, he told Billy Joe and I that he was fed up; and said he would never set foot in Brister again as long as he lived.  Then he grabbed his two-string guitar he bought off Winston Waller, and stormed off in the direction of Walkerville carrying new luggage, a croaker sack and a brand new syrup bucket.  The man was obviously in no mood for a woman’s scorn after being called “Bubbie Earl” and being charmed by a Texas beauty queen for a solid week.

   We hadn’t heard from the couple until we saw the beauty queen Friday at Emerson just before she and a hauler headed south toward Waco to visit someone’s sick mother.  She told us Bubba Earl was to be interviewed by his cousin, Don McMahen of Magnolia, for a position of considerable importance.  Billy Joe and I didn’t know about the job opening; we could have applied.  I reckon Bubba Earl would have gotten it anyway – he and Mr. McMahen being kin and from the same community and all.  We wish them luck.

   Since Steven’s Store closed, Herbert has one less sitting chair.  With a little help from Joe Mullins’ new store and a few chair donations, Herbert could become a contender for the world sitting chair title, which will be awarded at the 1991 Purplehull Festival.  Imagine, Emerson with another world record!!  The old world record is currently held by my late uncle, Jess Barfoot.

   Earlie Pearl has requested that I continue asking the public to support her medical practice by mailing folk remedies and cures to me at 3730 Hwy. 79 S., Emerson, Ark. 71740.  She also wishes to remind everyone of the Walkerville fish fry on Nov. 10.  Joe Wood of Springhill said he would be there, too.

   The Mullins’ dog, Mitch, is all stove up from being hit by a car and spends most of his day in his box and has to be handfed.  The old dog jumps up into the porch swing, but he is too sore to jump down, so he howls for Joe to help him.  The vet said Mitch has nerve damage and possibly won’t recover.  Perhaps someone has a new pup of the same breed, a variety common to Emerson for generations, to replace Mitch.  (There must be some wisdom about old dogs here.)


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