The Real June Montgomery

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    Tomorrow we will run another installment of CigarBox. This has been personal journey for me. The book appears to be a well written piece of fiction. It is . . . somewhat. The flesh of the story is cleverly contrived to hide the bones of a very real person. Her name was April.

    April was born in Hollywood and grew up in Copperas Cove, Texas. The “Bend” in the book was the Turkey Creek section of that town and was as close to aristocracy as “PoDunk” Texas could manage. There was a real golf course, and little April was really a catfish girl at Eddie Henderson’s café on Friday nights. He became the character, “Fat Eddie” in the book.

    The #METOO Movement would freak out if they knew that we raised “June’s” age to sixteen so as to be more politically correct than April’s fourteen years. April wasn’t a #METOO, she was a #MEINSTEAD. A Texas girl determined to get out of the shacks behind the café and in the area that would later be the model for “The Bend!” The real June’s statements in life are in part of tomorrow’s segment. She explains ambition to nailing up a fence:

    “When you try to nail that fence the wrong way; that’s the end of the world.”

    “If I had blood it would run cold, Veronica.”

    She looked at him with clear blue eyes, her face lost all expression, “It should.” She continued to play in the water. “It should, Doctor Angel.”

    What makes CigarBox so good is the reality of it. If you watch a romantic story on LifeTime it’s entirely predictable. Only the names have been changed to hide the fact that you’ve seen it dozens of times before. June is the personification of a real girl finding her way from poverty to wealth and ultimately losing it all, even her life.

    But, April never left our family. As we raised her little boy we would often smell baby powder. April rarely if ever used perfume. Dove soap and a liberal dash of Johnson’s Baby Powder. You gotta live in Texas if you wanna know about them things. When the smell comes we all know it’s just April dropping by for a visit.

    Today, as I did the edit for tomorrow’s article, sitting at April’s little round table, drinking coffee from her cup the smells came, I realized that she held this family together. From the grave she did more than we’d ever know, and made us realize that there is always tomorrow, and hope. Why is my face wet? It’s not raining.

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