Jamie Iredell

Despite what might seem a paradisiacal upbringing, it was anything but. Mama, for example, had a penchant for the bottle. Although she usually laid off and held herself together, there were a couple instances that I remember her drunkenness and the effect it had on our happy household. One time Mama came home smashed after a meeting with the ladies of the League of Women Voters. Daddy was angry at her for being drunk in the first place, but then for driving home instead of calling him. He said, For christ’s sake, tomorrow you have a meeting with Mothers Against Drunk Driving! Mama yelled something incoherent back and walked away, into Daddy’s den where he kept his model train collection on display upon the wall. Daddy followed Mama, keeping up the argument—a bad choice. I watched from around a corner while Mama lifted one train after another off the display shelves and launched them at Daddy. She didn’t throw very hard, or very accurately, so Daddy just stood there saying, Look at what you’re doing! Meantime Mama said horrible things to Daddy, things I couldn’t repeat even if I knew what they meant.