dedicated to Pricy Addington


The reverend from the Licking Rock Baptist Church
was known for ‘going on’ – he would get the spirit
and there was no telling when the spirit
would let him be.  Many a time I sat with my
Big Mama in her pew up on Craft’s Colley near
Ermine.  Lordy they sang.
Raised their hands and sang.  Loud – some would
faint.  I wasn’t afraid because my Big Mama
was beside me.  But, Lordy they raised a ruckus.

So when Big Mama’s time came and we were preparing
to send her off to the Lord, there was a crowd
from all over Letcher County.  She was a magistrate’s
wife and spent plenty of talking time at the courthouse.
She was a storyteller and everyone from the hairdresser
to the postman knew her and her stories.  She had
worked at one time as a maid at the Daniel Boone
hotel.  She had some stories from there too.

My mother, the youngest of 13 Addington children, shows
the morning of the funeral having come in from West Virginia
in her sporty red Mercedes convertible…well, let’s just
say everyone knew Jean was in town.  And she, her elegant self
(with a sassy blond updo) had on a silky little black dress.

Perfectly apropos.

She had added her own flare to the look – a crystal
necklace, tight to her neck, looking exactly like a man’s
neck tie.  

All sparkly and brilliant and bold.
She was always breaking molds.

That was my mother.  Getting notices from every corner of the room.
Secure in her presentation and statement.  She chatted among
the mourners.  

And, then, she eyed the Baptist preacher – a large, round red-faced man as I recall.  My mother motioned for the two of them to talk in private.

She made no excuses.  She pointedly told him that she wanted him to keep his comments about her mother to a minimum.  

The preacher threw his hands in the air and said,

Sister Jean, I have no control over this.
I pray for the Lord to lead me in what I will say about Sister Pricy.
I only do what He tells me to do.  I follow the vision and the words
He gives me and that is what I am put on this earth to do.  
I just listen to the Lord, ma’am, just talk with the Lord.

She told him,

Well, I talked with the Lord myself last night and he told me to tell you to keep it short.

Some say my mother got above her raising.  

I think she was right where she needed to be.