My great-grandparents, Garrett and Belle Clary, who lived seven miles northeast of Elwood on their family farm, formerly the Vinson and Jones, drove into town for a funeral. Grandma Belle was wearing a new mourning or funeral dress she’d recently made.
On this beautiful spring day, Grandpa Garrett pulled up in front of the church to let out Grandma Belle and he and young Ronald would join them on the steps with the other mourners who were gathered to wait on the hearse to arrive from the deceased’s home where the wake had been held per custom.
Grandma Belle began greeting family and friends on the steps as she stepped from the automobile, carrying my one-year-old grandmother. A breeze blew her just above the ankle hem dress into the car door just as she shut it.
Grandpa Garrett, upon hearing the passenger side door close, began driving off, not hearing Grandma Belle’s pleas to stop.
The automobile drove off to the parking area with the new black dress dragging alongside. My great-grandmother stood on the sidewalk by the church steps, holding my infant grandmother, wearing only her full slip.
I never heard what happened beyond this particular moment but it is enough to picture Grandma Belle, probably laughing, standing there in her undergarments. I am sure she was mortified but I am confident there was a great deal of laughter.