Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"Swing low,,,sweet chariot"

As we were coming home from grocery shopping on Monday, Zach and I were held up at a redlight in West Helena by a funeral procession. There was this huge stretch limo following closely behind the hearse and only about 10 cars of mourners behind them so it was a rather short procession by southern standards. We are very respectful here in the south and one sign of respect we observe is to never pass a funeral procession (in either direction), so I drove so as to stay a good piece behind the funeral cars once they'd gone through the intersection. I had plenty of time to think as this was probably the slowest procession, at 15mph, I've ever been behind. So my thoughts drifted to how things really haven't changed all that much down here in the south.

My first thought was that this was a black funeral and the reason I knew this was because of the direction the cars came from and the fact that a stretch limo was used as the family car. You see, although the South professes to be intergrated we really aren't in some areas and funerals are one of those areas. There are funeral homes that the Negroes use and funeral homes that the whites use, and black cemeteries and white cemeteries. And although many of the churches in larger cities are intergrated, it's not so here in the rural areas of the delta where there are numerous, tiny, negro churches scattered all over the countryside and only a few white churches in the small and larger towns.

My second thoughts were about "why is this procession going so SLOW?" White funerals, especially a redneck, white funeral, would never have such a slow procession of cars. They'd be taking advantage of the situation to speed and run the redlights and stop signs, even the hearse driver! (I'm not joking here people!) The white folks also know that it's a good idea to move on out of the way because all those cars and trucks that are pulled over out of respect are only going to be respectful for so long. Black processions are going to take the opportunity to let everyone see the stretch limo.

Moesha: Driver, driver,,go slower right through here, my mother's, daddy's friend, Deiondre lives here, and I want to make sure he sees me riding in this here car,,,,wait, wait,,there he is,,, sittin on his porch couch,,,WAVE big ya'll!!

Laqueta: Wait up driver! Corentine couldn't come to the funeral cause her leg be broke and she ain't outside the house there, stop and blow the horn and give her a minute to come outdoors so she won't have to miss out on every bit of this here funeral.


Ok, so I'm gonna probably go to hell for this but when your poking along at the speed of a turtle on tranquilizers your mind wanders and gets you in trouble.

19 comments:

Joan said...

I likes the way your mind wanders...too funny!! Good post on the human condition.

Mary Lou said...

Morning Brenda!!!

Joe said...

Hey girl, your so in tuned to your surondings! LOL! Now every one is going to try to intergrate the grave yards!

Pisser said...

Cute. What next, a stretch Hummer for a hearse...? ;)

I see them out here at quincineras all the time. Klass.

Leslie said...

; ) Well, if you're goin' to hell, I'll save you a seat, 'cause I thought that was pretty funny.

wanda said...

You nailed it!
You mean to tell me them folks in the big cities all use the same funeral home? Have mercy!

Hoot Nannie said...

LOL...this is pretty funny and it must have been a slow procession for all this creativity to be hatched! You are a riot....oh, maybe I shouldn't have used that word!!

Thanks for the tip on the tomatoes. Can you purchase pottasium...in liquid form? Kelli & I share this garden spot & tomatoes.

Tine said...

You wrote that down so wonderful, as if I was watching a movie. Great post Brenda

TW said...

You are too right. Your description was straight on.

Hoot Nannie said...

Thanks Brenda, for the pottasium name. I will look for it.

Have a good day....it's going to be close to 100 degrees here. YUCK I don't think even the deoderant will be able to mask the smell of all the sweat.

me said...

We still stop alongside the road for funeral processions, here, too. Nobody has a limo, though. And I actually have no idea if the cemetaries are integrated or not!

Anonymous said...

I do not understand the riding in a limo thing for funerals. I know a lot of people do it but it's just something that boggles my mind. It seems so inappropriate I think.

~AndiePandie

Sally said...

Well, if they use a limo for my funeral, they danged sure better let me ride in it with 'em instead of in the hearse all by myelf!!

Holly said...

I went to a predominantly black funeral a few years ago.. a close friend of mine and supervisor passed on too early from a heart attack. It was in a "black" church. It was amazing to see the difference from the white funerals I had been to. Those people were THERE.. PRESENT IN THE MOMENT.. AND FEELING IT. I was bowled over. I thought.. damn, if this ain't the way to hold a funeral.. none of that quiet sniffling and overwhelming smell of dying carnations.. there was screaming and hollering and singing and amens.. really.. it was something.

Oh.. and you wanted to know about bird gruel.. here's the link to where i explained how to make it ...

http://www.birdsnways2.com/chats/ncs/tta.cgi?r=528608

Holly

Phyllis said...

If you want to go to Church and feel revived, go visit a Black Church! They know how to praise! I visit one here in Oak Harbor once in awhile, and they greet me and make me feel right at home!
They go to Church to praise God and not to see who is there and what they are wearing! I love a good Gospel service once in awhile!

Mark said...

That was Faulkneresque.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Just popped in to say 'Hello'!

We're having a few problems with our internet provider, so ain't blogging much, obviously.

But you're missed.

Anonymous said...

Good heavens. I know this is ages ago for a blog entry, but that story's terrible. I am so thankful I don't share your mentality.

This may be off the wall in your world, but all people where I live use limos for the immediate family in a funeral, out of respect. You know, respect... so they don't have to drive while they are grieving. I feel sorry for you, how racist your brain is wired. It's pretty revolting.

Brenda said...

Anonymous, Is there some reason you didn't want to post your name? Please notice that I also included "Rednecks" in the equation. I live in the South darlin, and the way things are down here with the one nationality paying taxes so another can spend it makes it quite difficult not to be a little biased.