That’s NPR correspondent Debbie Elliott late this afternoon down at Ronnie Morgan’s camp on the Starhill Riviera, interviewing members of Ruthie Leming’s posse for a Morning Edition piece she’s doing on The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming. It will air on the morning of Tuesday April 9 — the day Little Way publishes, only one week away. I had a great afternoon and early evening hanging out with Debbie, a native Southerner, and talking about Ruthie, and this place. We ended up at Mr. Ronnie’s camp in Starhill, where Ruthie spent so many nights with her friends at bonfires, crawfish boils, and suchlike. This afternoon, we brought some of Ruthie’s closest pals together to reminisce about her over crawfish and beer.
The funniest thing was that about half the hilarious stories they told Debbie on themselves and Ruthie were too bawdy to be on public radio. One of my favorites that might make it on came from Abby Temple Cochran (above center, her face covered by her hair), whom I’d asked to tell about the time she and Ruthie shut down the Sunday afternoon Cajun dance at Angelle’s Whiskey River Landing by dancing on the bar. Abby started, “Well, I preached that morning in church… .” Which was true. But it tells you something about Ruthie, her posse, and our town that the day could start out like that, and end up with the gals, both schoolteachers, having a blast at an Atchafalaya Swamp roadhouse.
Can’t wait to hear Debbie’s peace. She’s a Southerner. She gets us, even if she did take her life into her own hands by praising Nick Saban.
Man, I love this place, and these people. At the end of today, after everybody had gone home, Debbie and I were standing in the camp kitchen talking to Mr. Ronnie, who, holding a cold Miller High Life in his hand, said that at the end of your life, all you have to leave behind are the people you loved, and who loved you. He said it more profoundly than that, but it was so true, and so touching the way he phrased it. I bet that makes it onto the air.
Hey, readers, this space is going to be heavier on Little Way postings in the coming days, as I ramp up for the book release and tour. I’m headed out for a little pre-book tour relaxation this week, so posting will be lighter than usual, but I’ll still be here, and posting and approving comments as often as I can. I have a new website now, roddreher.net, exclusively devoted to Little Way information and touring, and of course you can always “like” my Facebook fan page to keep up with the latest Little Way postings and info.