SOUTHERN FRIED CRAZY (Guest Post by Linda Bethea)

I am honored that Linda Bethea of Nutsrok  has agreed to guest post for me today.  Enjoy!


Holdaway Homestead

Southern Fried Crazy

by Linda Bethea

We love our crazy folks down South.  Oh, we may not want them right up in the house with us, not that it doesn’t happen from time to time, but certainly we need them to brighten up our holidays and remind us of how dull life would be without them.

My perenially pregnant Cousin Carol waddled into the family reunion this year with her nine kids and current live-in. He’d look like Willie Nelson if she cleaned him up.  Willie Albert Swain as toddlerExcepting her penchant for living in sin, Cousin Carol is fanatically religious, devoting herself to the food kitchens, fellowship nights serving evening meals, and community closets of all the local churches, though not their morning services.  “It’s hard to git nine young’uns dressed that early.” Some nosey relative asked her how many more kids she was going to have and she answered, “As many as God gives me.”  You can bet your sweet fanny she won’t have any more if she had to pay for them. At the conclusion of the reunion, she loaded up as much food as she could load in her decrepit station wagon, reasoning if she didn’t, “it would go to waste.”

For those of you who haven’t been to a family gathering in the South, this is every cook’s turn to shine.  They bring their most celestial dishes.  If Aunt Sue chases you down with her fresh coconut cake, you’re going to try it or else!  Don’t bother pleading allergies.  Aunt Bonnie makes the best fried chicken.  You have to have some of Uncle Joe’s barbecue, but watch out for Cousin Mattie Mae’s Three-Bean-Salad with the wigglies. You don’t have to take any of that. She has Alzheimer’s and won’t know the difference.  It may very well be the same batch she brought last year.

R G Holdaway Family with Johnny Bell early 1930'sUncle Chester couldn’t make it this year.  He got sent back up for counterfeiting, but he did set the boys up in bootlegging before he got caught.  They’re doing real good.  Aunt Jennie was really bragging on them.  Her girl Joyce is teaching at the high school and just married the Baptist preacher.  Aunt Jennie is so proud all her kids are making a good living and doing well.

I never get tired of bragging about my tightwad Cousin Kat who set up her tombstone in her bedroom because she “didn’t want to spend all that money and then not get any enjoyment out of it.”  There was my cousin Evil Larry, who ran around with his pants unzipped so he “all the better to pee on us” when he could catch us.  I never did learn to like him, though.  I adored my cousin Sue, but she was a compulsive liar from the time she could talk; delightful, non-malicious creations that kept me guessing.  She was great fun, but would have climbed on top of the house to tell a tale when she could have stood on the ground and told the truth.

1st row Kathleen Holdaway, Ellie  Blizzard,Johnny Bell2nd John a0002I don’t think I could pick a favorite.  I love them all, even the ones I hid from.  They gave me wonderful stories, ensuring that my rich, life never has a boring moment.  All I have to do is think back and recall.

(Oh and the Cat’s name was Old Greenie  She was 26 years old and had just given birth to her last litter of kittens.  Not long after this picture was made Old Greenie ate the kittens, starting at the feet.  My Grandpa was horrified and knocked her in the head.  See, my family even had crazy animals.)


Linda Bethea and I love to hear from our readers.  You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at or


All images are courtesy of Linda Bethea



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24 Responses to SOUTHERN FRIED CRAZY (Guest Post by Linda Bethea)

  1. candygai says:

    Great post. As a transplant to the South this seems to be true. However, having lived all over the United States, I think every regional culture my have it’s own form crazy. And each geographical area owns and really loves and embraces it’s crazy and regional “craziness”. I am from Seattle, goodness knows, we do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul says:

    This would be why I tried hard not to stop in the South when I was trucking. These folks don’t react well to outsiders. Whooo! You know that salad that Linda spoke of? They make it with parts of truck drivers who were silly enough to stop. I had a load of Moosehead beer from New Brunswick, Canada one day and I cut across from I-95 to I-75 on my way to Tampa. I crossed through Waycross Georgia to Valdosta on 520 – 84, which passes through a large swamp. It was 2am and for miles I had seen only huge swamp growth on both sides of the two-lane, there wasn’t a house or building for miles and miles. just swamp. Then i saw a hunched white figure moving on left. As I got closer i realized it was someone in a white doctor’s lab coat pushing someone else shadowy and blanket covered in a wheelchair. The “doc” was hunched over as if not wanting to be seen and he/she dutifully pushed their handicapped charge down the shoulder of the road at 2am. Might have been a family member they only took out in the dead of night so that no one would see or suspect the person existed. And even though I had not seen a building or even a driveway for 40 miles, they must have lived somewhere in this swamp – where no one would ever see or find them. And, of course that meant they had something or someone to hide. Brrrr! I just went a little faster and was eventually relieved when i saw the lights and truck stop in Valdosta. Maybe it was an apparition of people who had been violently murdered in the swamp and who were doomed to haunt the roadside in the middle of the night forever.

    Anyway, I have had very little experience with rural southerners but what I have had has been scary. Ha! Great post Linda – thanks for the fun (we are having fun, aren’t we? Would you like some salad? Bwahahaha!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 says:

    OH! Well I just loved that … was it all true?? I think you were winding unsuspecting English ( south of England too) girls up! But I loved ..not so much of Greenie…eek! from the feet up!! Mind you if I started on my lot you’d probably not believe a word … Thanks so much for sharing!!! <£

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lbeth1950 says:

    Reblogged this on Nutsrok and commented:
    Reblogged my guest post from Cordelia’s Mom, Still. Please comment on her post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Donna says:

    Love the story

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great cast of characters–I hate to say it but it reminded me of my wife’s family reunions at the state forest picnic grounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gh0stpupp3t says:

    Good guest post! Linda you have the wildest family ever. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow. At least YOUR crazy kinfolk are entertaining and can (mostly) cook. Mind are just wackos with too much drama and a lot of complaints about how life doesn’t treat them fairly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Silver Threading says:

    Oh my gosh, I got a great chuckle reading this. I have lived in the South off and on for years and this writing was spot on! We all think it is humorous, however, many people still live life this! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. She is an amazing writer! G-uno


  11. I do love the tales of your madcap family! How lucky you are that most of them have got great characters whatever they may be, 🙂


  12. Reblogged this on So, I Read This Book Today and commented:
    I laughed myself silly over this — it does twig memories! My morbidly obese auntie and her Jack Sprat hubby living in their trailer come to mind… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. btg5885 says:

    From one southerner to another, I truly love this. From Evil Larry to lying Sue. Bled their hearts. All regions have their versions of crazy, but we season ours with eccentricity before we deep fry them. Well described, my dear. All the best, BTG


  14. Another gem from Linda, who grew up where those nuts really did rock ! My favorite is cousin Kat enjoying the tombstone in her bedroom. Southern folk and their special dishes…spot on ! Really enjoyed this one. ☺ Van


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