A small volume of Gurney Norman's "Kinfolks" rests on my bedside table, well-thumbed, the spine broken. Norman, a Kentucky writer, evokes the rural south with as much grace and generosity as any writer could do. His characters are the people I grew up with, the soft vowels and warm hugs of the aunts and uncles whom I was lucky enough to know, and who loved me without reservation. Let me share these few lines from his story, The Favor.
...he saw the lighted windows of the house. There in the kitchen
was his grandmother, standing by the stove. "Grandma," Wilgus thought.
"There she is." And when his grandfather came out of the barn and the two of
them started walking together toward the house he thought: "Grandad. Here
he is." And there it was again, a feeling, deep inside, trying to occur, an
idea that Wilgus would be a long time knowing. But that was okay. Let it
take its time. He was a patient man. Just knowing that one day he would
know was quite enough for now.
If Mr. Norman is ever in Northern Kentucky I plan to invite him to guest on the radio show, and I can be very persuasive.