These here be the true and gospel real life happenin’s o’one Liam Goodwell, o’the Denton County Goodwells. I aim to put to paper much o’what’s travellin’ twixt my ears, bein’ Miss Meadow, my teacher down to the school, she give me pencils and paper and set me on a course.
I shore don’t like disappointin’ Miss Meadow.
But there’s times I jest don’t quite git it. Miss Meadow, she give me a suggestion while back I write me a letter to somebody means somethin’ r’other to me. Sounded fine at the time, I reckon. Howsomever, givin’ it another think, why, I purty much see ever’body I know once or twice or near a hund’rd times ever’ week.
Why in the hee haw would I set down words to paper, lick me a en-velup, an’ waste one o’ Mama’s stamps? Why’d I do any o’that when all I’d have to do is holler?
I ask you that!
But, I got me school comin’ up in the Fall, an I’m a’comin’ up on eighth grade an’ I shore’d like to see myself graduatin’, Mama does like her diplomas up on the wall, so i give it what i got.
(An’ I ain’t decided if this here gits itself sent.)
Dear Mr. Langston (Grandpap) Goodwell,
(That there’d be the sal-u-tation. Reckon Grandpap’d like his whole name seein’ the light o’day!)
Well, hello, hey ho, and how’re you?
(Miss Meadow, she said start with a pleasantry. I’ll add another.)
I most certainly am hoping your Arthur Itis is not acting up this morning.
(Grandpap, he suffers quiet-like ever now ‘n ag’in. Don’t like to let on. Tough ol’ buzzard.)
I been fine, too, in case you was wondering.
(Miss Meadow, she said e-stablish a kinship with the reader. He’s my Grandpap already, but still…)
I was considering a long drive down to Sedalia late next month, State Fair time. And seeing I haven’t got a horse or a hog or a silver saddle for competition or consideration, I was hoping you might possibly see your way to allowing me to accompanize you if you was to be driving that direction.
(Now, this here’s simple folly! O’ COURSE I got me entries in the Missouruh State Fair! What youngin’ don’t?! I got me two horses plus a silly goat I’m helpin’ Loreen to raise. She ain’t a pint o’ help, but I give her my word. An’ Jesus won’t let me step ‘way from that, I tell you what! But Miss Meadow, she tol’ me my letter should near ever’ time include a re-quest o’ some sort. I don’t reckon I need nothin’, leastwise none I kin recollect this here minute. So Dear Jesus, I come up with this. It ain’t a full on lie if it’s writ, is it? Lord Jesus, he’p me if I be sinnin’. I’m a doin’ it fer Miss Meadow!)
But if you can’t, why, how about you and me we head down to Whipple Crick and catch us some Blue Gills? You and Me, we could roast our catches over a fine fire, fillet them out in one of Mama’s iron skillets, and cook them suckers crisp!
(This here? It’d be story-tellin’, too, I tell you what. Ain’t no way this side o’ the Pearly Gates Mama’d ‘llow her seasoned slick iron skillets outside her kitchen! Law, I’m diggin’ myself deep. Ol’ Devil’s like to reach right up through the Missouruh clay, take hol’ my ankle an’ drag me down to the Lake o’ Far! Best I wrap this up right now, ‘fore I feel them claws a’grabbin’ at my feet!)
Well, I am plumb happy to have writ you this letter, Mr. Langston (Grandpap) Goodwell, and I am very thankful and gracious you be my very own Grandpap. I am happy to share you with all the other grandchildren, and I am very extremely aware you loves us all more today than you did yesterday and I will always love you and admire your teaching and hope someday you plan to bestow upon me your silver making tools so’s I can continue the work which you have been trying to teach me and that I still am not very well schooled at.
(Miss Meadow, she said ever’body deserves kind words, so I thunk these here up. Hope they’ll do.)
Very sincerely, your third grandson by your son, my Daddy,
Liam Elias Ephraim Goodwell
(Miss Meadow, she always tells all us chil’ren, not just us Goodwells, but all us kids in her one-room school down the way, she always preaches to check and recheck our work.
Well, upon checkin’ and re-checkin’, and re’checkin’ a couple more times, I’d like to lay down dead an’ die ‘fore I show this piece o’ fairytale to an’one I know, even Miss Meadow.
Plan to fin’ me a ol’ tin can, squish it hard down inside and bury it deep in the chicken yard! Jesus understands!)