We moved from Birmingham to Tampa when I was six years old, my mom, my grandmother and me. It was my idea. Every summer Grandma would take me back up to visit the aunts and uncles and cousins. The highlight was always working in Uncle Murray's watermelon patches. He would pay us in silver dollars and we were pretty sure that we were rich. Closest I ever came, actually.
I learned pretty much everything that I know during those summers. My grandmother, Lottie, was the finest person I ever knew. She loved more than you can imagine, more than I can describe.
We spent our money at Cobb's Hardware and at the drug store. That's where I first discovered Hep Cat's Review. It cost fifty cents, twice what the other rock'n'roll magazines cost.
George bought black hair dye after one payday. He wanted to look like Elvis. It turned his hair green and Aunt Noot's pot purple. George didn't look a thing like Elvis He still doesn't.
I miss Grandma every day.