Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fonderoy Fishue offers advice to Cousin Beauregard regarding Gussie Lou

George Buster Singleton
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Impending nuptials make Fishue ponder honesty” was originally published in the May 28, 1992 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

My good friend Fonderoy Fishue is approaching a rather serious time. His cousin, Beauregard Bentwigg, has come to see him, and during his visit has met Fonderoy’s sister-in-law, Gussie Lou.

It seems that the sounds of wedding bells are growing louder in the closing days of May. As the month of June approaches, Fonderoy is having serious thoughts about telling his cousin of the shortcomings of Gussie Lou.

He decided to write his cousin, not to tell him of these faults or shortcomings, but to ask him if he knows about them; this is the letter. Fonderoy decided to handle this matter with kid gloves so as not to make anyone mad.

My Dear Cousin Beauregard:

I take pen in glove to let you know that I have heard some window-rattling information from my darling wife, Augusta Jill, that her fat sister, Gussie Lou, is doing some sewing.

What I would like to know, is all this sewing on what I have heard it was on? Cousin Beauregard, I would have thought that you would have talked to me about such a serious matter. My being married to Augusta Jill has given me a great amount of insight on this life and behavior of Gussie Lou.

I thought you was acting kinda funny when you was last here. I noticed that every time you got close to Gussie Lou, them goose pimples showed up on your neck and face. Don’t forget that I have been around in my day, and I can tell when a man is in love. I have been to three state fairs and two goat ropings and I have never seen such acts as Gussie Lou and Augusta Jill is putting on nowadays.

Just yesterday, I found a list that them two big sisters had made up about some of the things they was going to do at the rehearsal dinner. Gussie Lou thinks that you and her should arm wrestle and let this decide just who would be the boss after the wedding was over.

Now, I’m not telling you what to do, Cousin Beauregard, but the last man that Gussie Lou arm wrestled with is still suffering from a twisted arm. (That was the man she was engaged to the last time.) Again, it’s none of my business, but I think I would try to suggest something else. Also, might be worthwhile to mention, that poor fellow runs when he sees Gussie Lou (can’t say as I blame him).

There was the usual things on the list that she wanted to do. Such things like a foot race between the two of you and a hog-calling contest. She also wanted to see who could hold the other up over their head the longest.

I believe I would try to get out of this contest also. You might be strong, Cousin Beauregard, but I know this can never happen; that would be like a game rooster trying to lift up a small elephant. (I thought I would mention some of these things just so you would kinda know what to expect).

She also wanted to see which of you could eat the most food in the shortest period of time. Again, I am not telling you what to do, but I believe I would try to get out of this one also. I know for a fact, that big woman can hide some groceries. (I’m married to her sister, and I know how she can eat.)

This list mentioned something about the two of you wearing them new-fangled running shoes to the rehearsal dinner. That’s them new kind of shoes that you can pump up. Might give this some thought too, Cousin Beauregard. Them running shoes costs almost $100 a pair. (Might just want to come to the supper barefoot. Just a thought on saving you some money.)

I remember that last time you got engaged, Cousin Beauregard, when your bride-to-be ran off with that magician from New Orleans. You swore that you was going to join them French Foreign Legion folks. Again, I don’t want to put any ideas in your head, but if it was me, I would be trying to find out where their recruiting office was.

The fact is that you would be in less danger fighting them Arabs, than you would be meeting Gussie Lou eye to eye after you have backed out of the wedding. (I thought about joining that Foreign Legion one time, but I guess I’m getting too old now.)

I hope I have been some help to you, Cousin Beauregard, I can’t tell you what to do; only time will tell. The month of June is fast approaching; the time for marrying is at hand. If I can help you, let me know. That is, if you don’t forget and tell Gussie Lou about this letter. She would go straight to my fat wife, Augusta Jill. I can’t let that happen; I would get more than a twisted  arm if she found out that I was trying to talk you out of marrying Gussie Lou.

Your helpful cousin,
Fonderoy Fishue

P.S. I’ve got a confession to make. I slipped and read some of them letters that you wrote to Gussie Lou. You ought to be ashamed writing that big woman and telling her all them promises that you made to her. I was thinking of some way that I might help you get out of this, but after all that sugar and spice that was in them letters, I think I’m wasting my time.

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School, served in the Korean War, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County in June 1964 (some sources say 1961) and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. For years, Singleton’s column “Somewhere in Time” appeared in The Monroe Journal, and he wrote a lengthy series of articles about Monroe County that appeared in Alabama Life magazine. Some of his earlier columns also appeared under the heading of “Monroe County History: Did You Know?” He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

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