Catching up with the Joneses

Sarah, Simeon, and I spent the Thursday evening prior to July 4th driving south east to Sarah's hometown, Morehead, Kentucky. I like our visits; the weekend moves along at a pace a little slower than what we're accustomed to at home. I'm pretty sure I've turned more book pages, fit more puzzle pieces, and taken more accidental naps in the Lewis living room than just about anywhere else I've been. One of my other favorite time-passers in Morehead is listening to stories.

Sarah's family members are prolific storytellers. Dinner and after-dinner times are chock-full with stories. Almost as amusing as the stories themselves is the pre-story ritual of establishing who the primary character is and to whom they may or may not be related. The pre-story ritual goes something like this:

"You know the Jones boy?"


"No, not Billy, his younger brother?"

"The one with the mole?"

"No, that's Johnny, the oldest..."

"Isn't he in jail?"

"He was in jail, but I thought I saw him mowing the Smith's lawn..."

It goes on and on like this. Sometimes we never actually get to the story, it's more of an exploration of someone else's family tree. I almost never know who Billy, Johnny or any of the Jones boys are, but that doesn't stop anyone from telling their story, and that's just fine by me.

Thursday night we were sitting on the back porch, sheltered overhead by the arbor and protected from mosquitoes by an army of tiki torches posted at every corner and nearly every point in between; Sarah's Dad finished telling some stories about a fellow named Alec (which is inexplicably pronounced "EE-lik"), when Sarah's mom, Jan, stepped up with my favorite story of the weekend.

Her story was about Doc Gray, a tractor mechanic and family friend, "who lives up Christy Creek." (He lives up a creek? I wonder if he's got a paddle.)

Jan was working at C. Roger Lewis Agency — the real estate office Sarah's Granddad established — when she heard Doc's voice in the reception area and decided to go greet him. Doc was standing there with a little boy and Jan queried, "Who's this, Doc — your grandson?"


"Well, what's your grandson's name?"

Doc cocked his head and stared blankly at Jan, "Well, I don't know. I reckon I always just call'em "Boy."

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic.

    My take on it, from "Boy's" perspective: "Well, Grandad may not know my name, but he does take me along to the local real estate office. I'll take what I can get."