Unless otherwise noted, the Kathryn Tucker Windham blog is written by her daughter, Dilcy Windham Hilley.
My mother grew up in Thomasville, Alabama, not far from the heart of downtown.
It was a small country town, so it wasn’t especially surprising that her family raised chickens in their backyard. Mother used to tell how their cook and Mother’s very heart, Thurza, would twist a hen’s neck like a wringer washer and prepare it for Sunday dinner. (Dinner, of course, is the meal served after breakfast and before supper. At least it used to be that way in the South before it somehow got confused with the evening meal.)
The women in Mother’s family---all much older than she---always referred to a chicken thigh as the “second joint.” I suppose it was a more genteel reference to such a private part of the anatomy, though apparently the breast was not considered soft-core.
Mother also spoke of a particularly vicious rooster that ruled their yard and would peck her bare heels if she wasn’t quick to escape him.
But one of my favorite tales my mother told was about a neighbor who dropped in uninvited fairly regularly, often when Thurza was preparing dinner. He was what Mother called a dullard, a word she reserved for only the most tedious people. After one particularly trying morning with the neighbor, Mother was in the kitchen complaining to Thurza about the dolt.
Thurza never turned from the stove as she said to Mama, “That man ain’t got sense enough to shoo the chickens.”
And that has become a favorite family phrase.
9/17/2019 11:42:04 pm
I always love miss Katheryn
9/18/2019 06:46:19 am
I enjoy so much reading and remembering her..as I told you before my connection was nippersink and your aunt Anna Lee tucker.and osceola green hauge..please tell me more stories of their childhood.keep writing..
9/18/2019 01:52:37 pm
Thank you, Laura.
9/18/2019 01:54:03 pm
Thank you, Kathy. You encourage me!
9/23/2019 01:54:18 pm
I love these stories and also listing to all my KTW CDs and reading "A Serigamy of Stories" (which I have read at least three times). Other than Kathryn, pretty sure my favorite character is Aunt Bet. Also want to know more about Auntie from Eutaw and Cousin Golda. I plan to visit the museum next week on my way to or from Mobile. Keep sharing these amazing stories.
1/18/2020 09:32:01 pm
Sorry I missed your comment, Yancy. I hope you enjoyed the museum and thanks for reading here.
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"Some people are important to intellectuals, journalists, or politicians, but Kathryn Tucker Windham is probably the only person I know in Alabama who is important to everybody."
–Wayne Flynt, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Auburn University.
Dilcy Windham Hilley
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