Auntie Frankie, flapper, takes charge

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Aunt Frankie was a character

with a capital C.

She was reared in an era when ankle-length dresses and high button shoes were all the

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fashion. Her generation lived in what then was known as the &uot;Flapper Era&uot;.

Her siblings consisted of a whole mess of girls, and one boy.

The boy, latterly known as Uncle Buddy, was about third in the age line and Aunt F. was next to the baby, Louise.

Uncle Buddy was a soft-spoken type — you know, he was maneuverable, especially when ganged up on by a flock of five or six females.

The more indrawn Uncle B. became, the more out-going became Aunt Frankie.

As a matter of fact, she bordered on being boisterous, and naturally assumed the position of family bully. She’d push and shove, and have her way despite the remonstrations of her parents.

That is not to say that Aunt F. was heartless, because she wasn’t — she merely struck terror into the hearts of those around her when she became aroused.

She could ask or demand any favor or anything of her brother and sisters, and they would willingly oblige. Or else!

It came to pass, eventually, that Aunt F. got herself wed to a stockyard enterpreneur, a man at least her equal in any shouting match.

Aunt F. earlier had married and buried a gentle, loving lad and that union had produced one offspring, a girl.

Years passed, the stockyard man also died an early death, and Aunt Frankie took over the stockyard business she thus inherited.

She stood toe to toe, cheek and jowl, up to her male competitors at the cattle sales that took place each Monday and Thursday. In the majority of the encounters, she outdid her counterparts.

During a Sunday outing years ago in Greenville, Aunt Frankie carried her then 12-year-old daughter, Frances, to visit Aunt Louise, Frankie’s baby sister.

Aunt &uot;Loulise,&uot; as her niece called her, took the girl for an afternoon ride in the family’s 1929 rumble-seated Chevrolet. This she did, despite the fact she had no license and had grasped only the barest rudiments of driving.

As Aunt Louise and her niece admired the shimmering colors of fall, while riding slowly along a country road, a small calf wandered into the car’s path.

Aunt Louise, when she noticed the calf, slammed her foot down on the brake, and barely nudged the animal with her front bumper. No harm done.

But, the calf went bawling into the woods, perhaps looking for comfort from its mother, startling both the driver and passenger.

Aunt Louise gave the niece specific instructions: &uot;Now, don’t you dare tell Frankie I hit that calf with the car when we get back home.&uot;

&uot;Oh, I won’t, Aunt Loulise, I promise.&uot;

Forthwith, they returned homeward, and on arrival the youngster made a bee-line for the house, hollering &uot;Mama, Mama, Aunt Loulise didn’t hit no calf with her car.&uot;

Good as her word

she didn’t tell on her aunt, but one can speculate that perhaps Aunt F. got the message anyhow.

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by direction, and not through deceptive indirection as was practiced by Aunt Frankie’s daughter.

Nine of Greenville’s responsible ladies trekked to Biloxi last week. However, they weren’t down there in Mississippi to play the odds on the gambling tables. They were down there to represent the U.D.C., visiting the homes of Jefferson Davis and Father Ryan.