THE COON STORY

How can anyone argue that the premise for the novel/movie, The Help doesn’t exist? I lived and grew up during a time in the South when maids still wore those starched white, special uniforms and had separate bathrooms, and they all helped out at my grandparents’ house on Christmas day.

I remember my grandmother living long enough to feel remorse for the times she chastised her maid for not sweeping the floor properly after dinner. That was after the maid had cooked the dinner and then cleaned the kitchen at the end of a long day, before she got on the bus to go home. The maid then would have to return early the next day and start over.

And there was “The Coons” story. Well, it was an old family tale we told and laughed about because my grandmother, or Gan-gan, as we called her, had not an ounce of malice in her, and one of her less enlightened friends asked her if she allowed coons in her kitchen. Gan-gan was horrified and confessed that she never allowed such animals as raccoons or wildlife into her kitchen. She had not a clue of what the other lady was talking about. As Vonnegut would say, “So it goes.”

My Grandmother’s Shakespeare
 

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