Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

LALA then and now

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   When I was a kid back in the days, as my son John says referring to the farm in South Georgia, “When the herds of onions roamed the land wild and free (adding dramatically) and then the Yankees came”. The social and moral arbiters of the town were the women’s club.

   The Laurel Avenue Ladies’ Association sometimes referred to LaLa girls met on a regular basis. They showed up at a different member’s house once a month in their hats and gloves, they wore dresses too, and they did the tea thing. (Lets not conjure up the image of the blue rinse set wearing nothing but hats, gloves and lipstick.)

   They discussed the various projects that were ongoing and future programs that they were thinking of supporting. They were the ‘go-to’ group if you needed something done such as library funding or improving the local park. At the end of the program, they usually had some sort of entertainment such as a piano recital or a poetry reading. However, they could show a down side every now and again.

   I had a rather checkered high school career. I got the title of, ‘The McGowan boy’. If you were referred to as ‘the McGowan boy’ or ‘the Green girl’ etc, by the LaLas it was decidedly a mark of disapproval. No Cotillion for me.

   I joined the Merchant Marine after high school. My mother met on of the LaLas on the street and after exchanging pleasantries, the woman asked my mom what I was doing. When she said I was at sea the woman did a “Tsk, Tsk. He’s such a rover”, complete with sympathetic hand patting. My mother wanted to deck her right there.

   The Harmony County LaLas are still up and running. They are still the ‘go-to’ group if something needs doing but things have changed a good deal. You have to remember their age and what they were doing 30 or 40 years ago.

   That’s right; these babes were the flower children, hippies, and Woodstock generation. They were weird then and just because they are older; it doesn’t make them any less wacky now.

    They now show up in pantsuits or jogging gear. They all hold jobs. They have been known to arrive on Harleys with a cigarette dangling from their lips. They don’t compare fashions anymore. They compare tattoos. They still have tea; however, it is not Orange Pekoe. It is the Long Island Iced type.

   Most of them have gone through a husband or two and make no bones about it. They lived through the ‘free-love’ era.

   They still have entertainment at the end of the meeting but it is more likely to be a belly-dancing lesson or a Swarzenegger film fest with “Conan The Barbarian”, “Conan The Destroyer”, or “Conan The Insurance Agent” (That last one wasn’t a big hit but the women aren’t there for the acting skills.)

     The mission hasn’t changed, but the attitude sure has. I wonder if I’m still considered a “rover”. © 2009 Harmony County


Written by harmonycounty

December 30, 2009 at 4:42 p12

Posted in Americana, Humor

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