Wednesday, April 7, 2010


carol hampson was a tough nut to crack. she could not stand the idea of harold choosing his mustache. she was a plate thrower, a pure blood american woman. she could allow her husband his wolfman appetites so long as they were a team. 'damn you,' was a well worn carol hamspon phrase. she would damn harold for buying the wrong color curtain or working too many days and not spending more time with her.
my grandmother lover her husband. she was always presentable, hair combed, face washed and clothes were never sloppy. carol hampson would smile baring all her teeth, her cheeks would flush and her eyes would flash a spark when ever the thought of harold would cross her mind. she was a double armed squeeze hugger i can remember appearing on weekend or other school breaks to be swallowed in those arms before being presented with a snack or candy of some kind.
the hampson's followed the pattern of the wolfman before them. harold was very successful in the farming field but their true money was made in buying stocks just before the market was restored after the crash of 1920's. their home was massive and sat on hundreds of acres of land.
it should be stated that harold hampson, my grandfather, kept in his wallet a small collection of hair and on the entry way wall a large picture of himself sporting a large fluffy mustache. though i had only known him as clean shaven.
stories were whispered through the years about said mustache. one had it being an award winner of the highest grade, the other having it being the great devil of their relationship and almost the cause of it's ending. one could never be certain. carol hampson could put her foot down, and had left once whether he shaved and brought her back or she came back on her own accord you can't be sure but i am wagering on the former.
my grandmother was a great baker but either had a fantastic metabolisim or never ate more than a crumb of her cooking for she held her fighting weight all the way to her final moments. my grandfather, on the other hand, had a fine pot belly that would stand at attention and make a great empty barrel rattle when ever given a firm pat.
carol would always sit close to her husband and take his hand. he would never protest or refuse and it was the warmth of that love that caused not only their life but that of their children to prosper. she was a quick hot burn when sparked but never was anything but supportive when the full moon appeared and the hampson men would take to the fields howling and werewolfing about.
my strongest memory is during the summer night while the eldest hampson had his man paw across my shoulder. he was giving a dissertation on the most humane way to kill an animal. while listening i happened to glance over my should up at the house to see carol hampson in the window. she gave a thumbs up and a proud smile as i sank my teeth into the chicken's throat.
'oh damn we are going to get.' i heard my grandfather say.
'prize chicken, old lady hampson gonna take a wack at us. best thing to do is to tell her straight away.'
so we rushed to the door. i took my seat on the floor before her and as we told her of my mistake i did not feel the blast of her anger, instead her hand scratched the back of head near my ear as she sighed, 'oh well, we all make mistakes.'
'what is this? are pigs flying? carold hampson gone soft? maybe i should regrow my mustache,' my grandfather said smiling.
'you regrow that mustache and see whose gone soft,' my grandmother said and the tension in her fingers reinforced that she meant it.
'well harold a man's got to know when he's been beat.'
the rest of the night was spent in front of them, as they sat close on the coach her hand wrapped about his man paw her other hand scratching my wolfman head as the insects chirped their insect gossip along the night air.

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