|Statue of children reading in the Bowling Green town square.|
My husband and I took a road trip to Columbus, Ohio late in June, to see our son who's been there for nearly a year working with Habitat for Humanity. He'll be coming home in a few weeks, but we were eager to see this place he'd called home for so long before he left. It was a great trip: we toured all the pertinent places in Columbus, met the co-workers and friends he's enjoyed, and took in a whole lot of local color in general.
On our return trip, with a little time to spare and legs in need of some good stretching, we stopped in Bowling Green. I had been unable to find any documentation before we left that might have provided an address to the home her parents lived in when she was born, so we just decided to follow the signs leading to "historic downtown."
It was a charming town square, reminiscent of so many with a common park around which were built the primary businesses. The park featured a fountain of Hebe, which was a surprise. The Court Square Fountain here in Montgomery is also of Hebe. (Turns out, a little research when I got home revealed she was pretty popular in the late 19th and early 20th century for fountain sculptures.)
I decided that since I had no idea where she and her parents had lived when they were there, I could at least be reasonably sure that they had passed through this square a time or two, so I focused my attentions there.
|Fountain featuring the goddess Hebe in the Bowling Green town square.|
| I like to think that maybe my Nannaw and Grandpappy |
might have seen a show or two here.
After we got home, and I began to dig through the family records again for any information about her time there, I stumbled across story after story she had recorded in the database my father compiled (to which she added notes). I recalled stories of Oogie Pringle and Luigi Capone (the greatest dog who ever lived), and chinaberry trees, and Jeanie Beanie Bad Egg and her prissy cousin who was famous for saying, "I don't caaarrre for any," and the particular way Mama always told us about that prissy cousin. Stories about rabbit tobacco and getting tossed out of a movie theatre when she was in college for crying so loudly it disturbed the other patrons.
A few days later I was babysitting my granddaughter, and I sang "My Sweetheart's a Mule in the Mine" to her, and she and I played "Great Big Buzzard" which always gets the giggles going, exactly the way I remember Mama doing those things with me when I was little, and with each of her grandchildren in their day.
I will tell her stories. I will sing her songs. One day, maybe Rosemary will share them with her children and grandchildren.
That will be the monument to Mama.