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Mr. "Al" Merriam 1927 - 2021
The Last Short Story
I published about 75 short stories in the SPOON between 2000 and 2018. This is the last one, a tribute to the old days,

 

"Mrs. Hooper"

by Paul Saevig, 

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved. 

 

"Hello, children! Why don't you follow me? I live a few more houses over on Amerige! I started some White Divinity Chocolate this morning! You're welcome to have some! My name is Ida Phelan Hooper! My Morton died in 1953! You can call me Grandma. Here, park in the driveway, honey! You have beautiful skin, you know? My Louise had beautiful skin until she moved to Flagstaff. She admits she looks like a prune! Ha ha! Watch your step, dear. Who's your handsome friend? Hello, Stephen! I'm happy to meet you. You're the spitting image of Richard Dix! Well, he was in the movies when I was first married, Why don't you children come in the kitchen? As I think about it, I'm pretty sure I taught your mother and dad at Ford School, sweetie!  That's a lovely coat, Justine. Fendi? No, can't say I have.  I'm from Iowa. Tabor! My mother and dad came out in 1928. I didn't want to leave our horses! Want milk, Justine? Stephen? No, but I have some blueberries in the garden. Shall we go out and see? I enjoy company, you see. Since my sister Irene passed away, I'm alone here. Well, little Teresa comes over to help clean and cook. She's got moxie. I'll say that. Seven of her own! Little stair steps!  Her Raul is a policeman. Here we are. [Picks a blueberry, nibbles it.] I think that will do, children! Let me get you a pail! What brings you to this neck of the woods? Oh? Good Heavens to Betsy! I am so sorry, child. Yes, I knew Eunice. Her people come from Earling. Gracious sakes. She was a dear woman. Her mother had sugar diabetes. Yes. Eunice married a high school math teacher from Council Bluffs, Ted. He was a handsome dog! Gosh .. Well, let's go inside. Will you stay for dinner? It's almost noon. Good. Honey, would you mind getting started? I'd like to lie down for a little while. That's quite a shock, you know. Eunice and Ted square-danced with Mort and me for forty years. Yes. Right up in Sunny Hills. You children go right ahead. Do you bake, Justine? I'd like to take a little something over.  When our sons were in the Pacific, Eunice and Ted came over for bridge every week. I remember .. well, anyway. I'll only be a little while. This news is startling."

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