The Characters I have known
Patty-Jo was from Florida and Buzz from Georgia. Mr. and Mrs. Buzz Wright, seriously, or maybe not.
Patty-Jo had long since stopped being Patty-Jo and had become Ashley, Ashley Wright, Mrs. Buzz Wright. This was a long time ago, long-before the current crop of Ashley's were even twinkles. The Wright's were my neighbours then, when we all lived on the wrong side of the tracks.
My street was a dead end. It ended dead away at an un-scalable chain link fence. ‘S-T-O-P, you aren't passing and if you doubt it the blackberry canes will get you before the barbed wire or the trains do!’
The Wright's street, the same-although no blackberry canes grew at the end, and the J of my back alley emptied onto their street leaving them a down hill exit from their street which they, and other neighbours, used to jump start cars in need of new batteries, starters and other optional accessories.
Ashley, slender and blonde wore long skirts and gauzy blouses. She spoke with a quiet soft airy voice. NaivelyI, big horse of a girl, found it romantic and an appealing part of her southern charm. Ashley told of an idyllic childhood, her father a professional ball player and her mother the house wife, and of her one brother-Jack. She talked of hot afternoons curled up in a porch swing with Archie comics and icy sodas and of warm evenings bike riding through orchards and down country roads, in the cool mist of the tractors as the chemicals lingered over the orchards and roadways. Ashley had severe asthma.
I'm not sure why we saw so much of one and others, but I suppose she was lonely being in a new country and isolated in our little ghetto, and I was there newly married and under employed. Ashley had a little boy, which was how she came to be Mrs. Buzz Wright. Her son Zachary, had been called “Do-Dah” since the day he came home from the hospital. Ashley, Buzzy, and Do-dah, the not so traditional nuclear family.
Ashley said she had been afraid Buzz would send her away when she told him of her pregnancy. He had said, she couldn't be his “old lady” any longer, because a baby needed married parents, and so they had married. She had wore a lace dress, and he buckskin. A framed photos sat on the mantel of their yellow Victorian three story framehome. Ashley loved pale yellow and Buzz gave her a pale yellow Studebaker with a chrome continental kit as a wedding present. It arrived from California a few weeks after they arrived on the street behind mine.
How could I not notice?