A fifth-grade bully, a blossoming romance, a late-night crash
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Marjorie Kemper always said that her epitaph should be “Here Lies a Woman Who Could Make Gravy from a Sailcat” (slang for roadkill that’s been flattened by passing cars). So that’s the one her family gave her at her memorial service. She died in Los Angeles on November 12, 2009, and her ashes were scattered in Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. Marjorie grew up in Texas and Louisiana, and much of her fiction is set in the Deep South. In May the Texas Institute of Letters gave her the prestigious Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story. Her novel, Until That Good Day, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2003.
“Perpetual care,” Mama emphasized. “No weeds growing over you or your loved ones when there’s nobody left to weed. (This was a comment on the fact that none of us had given her any grandchildren — no grave-weeders in her future, or “perpetuity,” as she was now calling it. Perpetuity was a concept Mama had latched onto like a snapping turtle.)
My wife, Rayleen, got it into her head that our luck died with our dog, Buddy. “We buried it in a hole in the ground” is how she put it.