by Eddie Edwards Draper
We never knew how she acquired that name, but when you saw Miss Spongy, you knew you were in for another bend in the river. She could weave a tale about most anything. You pick a subject, and away she would take you beyond your imagination.
She and Mr. Zeke lived in an ole three room cotton shack out in the field behind my parents' house. They had nine kids and oodles of chickens which she used to fry up for us on Sundays after church. She had reached the age where she was too old to pick cotton so my parents asked her to come to our house and work for us.
Miss Spongy was nearly crippled and had to tred slowly with a homemade cane that Zeke had made for her out of an old oak tree from the woods on the back forty. She used to whop us on our behinds if any of us kids "'twernt behaving," as she used to say.
One day, the Sheriff came by looking for Mr. Zeke. It was rumored that he had a still
on our property and was selling moonshine around these parts. Sure enough, they found it
and Zeke was hauled off to the county farm to serve time. Miss Spongy was about to have
a "hissy fit." She cried and wailed so loud that Mama told us kids to go play outside as
it was scaring us.
Miss Spongy was never her ole spunky self after that. She stopped working for us and would just sit in her creaking rocking chair and stare into the coal heated fireplace. Mama and Daddy took her into town on Saturdays and bought her some groceries and sometimes a new dress from the department store. Nothing seemed to bring any cheer to this lifeless soul. I used to take my guitar and harmonica to her shack with good intentions of putting some life back into her.
Miss Spongy died in that ole rocking chair, one year to the day that Mr. Zeke passed.
She shaped my life and made me a far better person.
Years have passed since that time, and I have moved to the big city. You know what? Everytime
I return to the Delta, I travel down that ole gravel road where the ole homeplace used to be
and get down on my knees and pray and thank Miss Spongy for making me whatever I am today.
He now lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is a songwriter and musician.
Write Eddie at Gravel Road Music.
The Shadow Of Your Breath
My First Graderís First Picture
Upon One Delta Night
Out On A Limb
Katieís Kitchen Floor
Lonesome Delta Field
My Angel Must Have Just One Wing
Horizons Of My Heart
Pianos Have Their Form Of Soul
Peace On The Road
Trees Are Made Of Doors
Oh Distant Star
Upon The Candled Night
The Worldly Light
Itís Only Life
Mississippi River ~ Queen Of My Life
Thatís All Thatís Left To Do
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