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Sleeping with Barry Goldwater

It was a day. Waking up in New Orleans can jolt the system, even when a girl has had a couple of days to acclimatize. Going to sleep in a rambling farmhouse in Natchez, Mississippi is quite a change. Especially with a pumpkin hunting stop in Baton Rouge thrown in for good measure.


I wore the socks to impress Cayleigh. How did I do?

I piled in the car with Alice and, MTM on our tail, we headed up the dark stretch of road to Natchez. Our destination: Historic Hope Farm, a rambling shard of The South. The proprietress met us at the front door, and I wanted to stay a week.

“Breakfast will be served in theah in the mornin’, and right after, we’ll have a little tourah of the haus. If you like a spot a coffee, it will be set up out heah on the porch. The air conditionah is new. I think it’ll stay at 69, but use those button things if it shuts off. And, why in the world would anyone from Charleston come to Natchez?”

I want to be Miss Ethel when I grow up. I loved her instantly.

Alice’s room was an homage to American politics, with Old South jewels like this one on the walls:


How would THIS play in a campaign today?

Another entire wall was devoted to signed photographs of American presidents and almost presidents. Meaning Alice slept with Barry Goldwater last night.

Don’t tell anybody.


34 Comments Post a comment
  1. As an undergrad at the University of Arizona, one Saturday morning on my way to the student union for breakfast I bulled my way through this crowd of people on the front steps, annoyed they were between me and food.

    In a clearing in the middle of the group I ran smack dab into this white haired old man who everyone seemed to be staring at. It was Berry Goldwater.

    October 6, 2012
    • Seeing him in an old plantation house in Natchez, MS was not something I expected. Much like your encounter.

      October 6, 2012
  2. Have to say that the socks surprised me. They have exactly the same texture as the pumpkin! The phonetic impression of the Southern accent is fantastic:)

    October 6, 2012
    • The socks were not very stylish, but ten-year-old girls love them. They were a good choice for the occasion. :)

      October 6, 2012
  3. Fun socks, Andra… and I think I may be learning to speak with a different accent as well! All good!

    October 6, 2012
    • My accent is similar to Miss Ethel’s. Her’s is bigger than mine, though.

      October 6, 2012
  4. Love the pumpkin munchkin sock saga.

    October 6, 2012
  5. Great post title for the political season and yes, the socks rock. By the way, speaking of Natchez, are you familiar with the author Greg Iles who lives in Natchez. Amazing character development in his novels.

    October 6, 2012
  6. Loving the socks. So glad you are getting to see Alice and Cayleigh!

    October 6, 2012
  7. Reading your recent posts en masse this morning (I have no guest commenter to pinch hit for me); so, trying to cover all the bases: your current series is worrisome–hope this child is going to be okay; congratulations on your 1000th post; happy you’re getting this chance to visit with Cayleigh and her mama; not sure I could sleep in a room with walls full of staring faces (male or otherwise); and, PLEASE tell me your shoes weren’t red! :)

    October 6, 2012
  8. What fun! I read it aloud in my mind and loved the accent!

    October 6, 2012
    • Her accent sounds very Old Charleston to me. She went to college with a bunch of Charleston girls, she said.

      October 6, 2012
  9. LOVE the socks.

    October 6, 2012
  10. I love the socks! I got used to wearing some of the silliest things when I taught young children. You are cool! :-) I love Natchez and have stayed at a couple of B & Bs there and each time I feel like I’m in another world. I’m so very pleased you had time with Cayleigh! She is a doll, and obviously loves you, too!

    October 6, 2012
  11. The socks are PERFECT for pumpkin pickin’, broom flyin’, and cauldren stirrin’.

    Just sayin’.

    October 7, 2012
  12. Love, love, love the socks and the sense of fun that accompanies them. Your rooms remind me of the old phrase “George slept here” which, of course, has to do with Washington and his tour of the new states and all the inns he slept in. George or Barry or Ike, no matter, Miss Ethel and Hope Farm are my cup of teah!

    October 7, 2012
  13. I love the picture. The two of you are clearly such good friends: a relationship which lasts a lifetime. Just wonderful.

    And what a place to sleep! Full of temporal echoes.

    October 7, 2012
  14. I, too, got a laugh out of the socks! CUTE! Looks fun, Andra!

    October 7, 2012
  15. I’m in love – what a woman Miss Ethel is ;) PS The socks are the cream on the cake, fabulous!

    October 8, 2012
  16. Matching Grins = Priceless. Lovely, lovely, lovely. I feel peaceful inside just looking at the picture. You both are blessed with a lovely friendship. LOVE your socks…I have some that go over the knee that I wear for St. Patty’s Day. :) Southern Comfort. Southern Charm. :)

    October 8, 2012
  17. The socks are fantastic! Cayleigh is your niece, right? She looks SO much like you. She could be your daughter, quite easily.

    October 8, 2012
    • Andra Watkins #

      Cayleigh is *like* my niece. She is the daughter of one of my dearest friends, and I consider her my niece. I love that child to pieces.

      October 8, 2012
  18. I’m sure you impressed her. Both girls pretty cute.

    October 9, 2012

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