Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Annie Pankey's New Youngin'

Well, Cousins,
Y'all may know Annie Pankey. She runs "Pankey's Hankies" downtown in Beloved. It is a shop filled with antique lace, quilts, linens and cloth goods as well as the occasional antique. If you ever been in, you know Annie Pankey is sometimes different than other folks.

She moved back here about ten years ago when she retired from bein' a lawyer up in New York. Annie started out in Clay County, went to Berea College and made good as a fine New York lawyer.

In the last year or so she started readin' about that "in vitro" fertilization and started hankerin' to have a youngin' of her own. She read up on all that "in vitro" stuff an' went to them Doctors over to Lexington to the University of Kentucky Hospital. She told them she wanted her a baby an' wanted them to pump her full of hormones an' all an' "in vitro" her.

Well, we don't talk about that sort of stuff back home. I don't know where she got such talk.

They laughed at first, but when she started talkin' her lawyer talk and accused them of age discrimination, well...they gave up first.

So,them Doctors did what she wanted an' Annie found herself with child. There was a lot of talk went on in the churches an' businesses of Beloved, I'll tell you for sure. Annie walked proudly among us, tellin' anyone who would listen that she had been "in vitro"'ed an wasn't livin' in sin or such as that. Folks finally settled down an' even got real excited for her. Not many 75 year old women have youngin's in Beloved. I only know of one or two myself.

The day came an' Annie had her youngin'. It was a baby boy - 8 pounds an' 6 ounces, 21 inches long with the prettiest black hair an' deep blue eyes. It looked like Annie's Daddy, Judge Ancil Pankey, one of the finest men to ever live in Beloved, Kentucky. Annie did real well for a woman of advanced years. She said it was turnip juice an' clean livin'.

After she came home, the women of Booger Holler Holiness Church came to pay a call on Annie an' to see the baby. She came to the door an' told them the baby was asleep an'
they had to leave. They figured she was just nervous, bein' a new mother an' all. Honest, they was worried that her health might be poor. She was 75, y'know.

A few days later, Sister Hazel Nutt Budder, the preacher's wife stopped with Evelyn Collins who brought cheese grits an' some broasted chicken from over to the Henney Penny Restaurant. Don't you know the same thing happened. Annie didn't even open the door all the way an' told them the baby was sleepin' an' shut the door.

On Friday of that week, Sister Hazel an' three women from the Womans Missionary League stopped by. They were not goin' to take "no" for an answer.

When Annie came to the door, she told 'em the baby was a sleepin' an' started to close the door. Sister Hazel was ready for her an' put her foot in the door. It was real lucky Sister Hazel had her steel toe Hush Puppie walkin' shoes on, cause Annie 'bout crushed her toes as she closed the door.

Sister Hazel asked why Annie wouldn't let anyone see that baby. Folks were sayin it was ugly or somethin'. Annie said it weren't ugly, it was just asleep. Sister Hazel said they would tiptoe in an' just look.

"No, y'all can't" Annie said.

"But why, Annie? We'll be real quiet like." promised Sister Hazel. The other women shook their heads in agreement.

"Y'all can't see him cause he is asleep...an' I don't remember where I put him!"

Ain't age a curse?
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