Home      Bobby Jo

"Too Late, but not forgotten", by Joy of Cooking from the album Joy of Cooking.

“Hey there, slick-chick. I’m Bobby Jo from Shelby County, Alabama, the Heart of the Heart of Dixie.”

I nearly choked from laughing so hard after this little wise-cracker quickly finished introducing herself as rapidly as an AK-47.

“I’m a denim-clad, boot-scootin’, born and bred in Dixie, ‘don’t give a shit’ little gutter-snipe! Like my Mama, I’m little but I’m loud and I cover the ground I stand on and dare any sumbitch stupid enough to try to knock me off of it.”

I saw Bobby Jo so clearly. She was still a teenager, had on tight jeans and well-worn, brown cowboy boots and stood defiantly proud, fists on boyish hips, one foot propped up on the running board of a rusty-blue 1939 Ford truck. She was a cotton-top blonde with short hair parted and curving across her forehead. A lopsided, saucy grin animated her full mouth and her voice was low and gravelly.

“Now let me tell yah! I can out kick, out-stomp, out-ball, out-drink, out-cuss, out-you-name-it, anybody this side of the Mighty Mississip. My favorite saying is, ‘You can kiss my money-making ass and go jerk off!’ I’m crude, lewd but not tattooed and really just a big bag of fun because I like to brawl and Rowdy is my middle name.”

‘Wow! Talk about peppery!’ I thought to myself. Bobby Jo took her foot off the running board and flopped across the front end of the truck, propping her chin in her palm and continued.

“Now, me, I’m a wildflower kind a gal. You know, ‘grits and glory?’ Don’t be bringing me no roses…hell, spend that money on some store-bought booze. ‘Cause Moonshine’s kinda rough but better’n nothing when you need to whup-up on a good stomach warmer. I’m partial to peach, you know? Like my granddaddy used to put up?”

By now I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. But Bobby Jo just went right on about herself.

“You know that movie, Smokey And the Bandit? Well, it’s my favorite, along with Fried Green Tomatoes. Idgie and me could be kissin’ cousins. Humph! She ain’t got nothing on me. Now, give me Willy Nelson, Dolly Parton and a good Blackjack game any old night of the week. I just love to gamble!”

“What else do you love, Bobby Jo?” I ventured when she’d quieted.

“Oh, let’s see,” she mused. “Well, I guess camping out would be next. I love a pine forest next to a purty lake. Throwing up a tent on a sunny morning in June just can’t be beat. Bacon and eggs over an open flame are the best! Cook me anything ‘Southern’ and I’ll be much obliged. I’m real partial to cornbread, collards, beans and ‘taters, too, with lots of fresh-churned butter. Add some raw onion and sweet iced tea and we’re headed for heaven!”

My mouth watered just imagining Bobby Jo’s favorite foods.

“Take me to your closet and I’ll show you something.” She whispered.

So I walked upstairs, opened the closet and stared. On the floor was a pair of patchwork denim boots with thick, black two-inch heels. Hanging over the rod was a red leather belt with silver conches that matched the cowboy hats, one with a snakeskin band, up on the shelf. Numerous jeans and assorted warm, fuzzy corduroy pants were there. I think I counted every color suede boot in three plastic tubs on the top shelf. Assorted denim shirts graced hangers.

“Guess you know who those belong to now, huh?” Bobby Jo smirked.

I grinned and folded my arms as Bobby Jo finished her diatribe.

“Now you know I got to have me some dogs. I’m partial to Collies but pert near any mutt’ll do. Dog spittle is the most healing balm I know. And racing cars. Give me a good go-cart race any day of the week. Don’t get in my way, though. Speed turns me on. I got a lead foot that loves to swooze up to gas pedals. My birth certificate ain’t in Talladega for nothing.”

“If you could have any car in the world, what would it be, Bobby Jo?”

“A purple Prowler!” She shot back. Then after thinking she added, “If it wasn’t a jeep or a red truck. And I’d ride down the highway listening to Willie Boy singing, ‘She’s a two-timing woman in love with a good-hearted man. He loves her in spite of her ways, which he don’t understand.’”

“Don’t you have the words backwards?” I asked.

“Yeah, but that’s who I am. And that’s how my man’s got to be. Don’t fence me in. I need the open road in wild country every now and then. Do some Rebel Yelling. Take my rifle and hunt me some crows. Hot Damn, we swangin’ then, Girl.”

“I hear you, Bobby Jo. I‘m just not sure I can relate.”

“Well, there’s just one thing I gotta say before I leave you, Sugar.”

“Yeah, what’s that, Bobby?”

Her face glowing like sunshine she shouted, “Save Yo’ Confederate Money, Honey, ‘Cause The South’s Gonna Rise Again! Sough-eeee!!”