Member Spotlight: Glenda Bonham
Glenda Bonham was born a native Jayhawker in a town no one can pronounce in Kansas. She moved to Ft. Stockton due to her husband being transferred in 1980. She only expected to be here for a couple of years. Well, it has been a long ‘couple of years’, but they have been good years, on the most part. Since retirement she has enjoyed newly-found free time by engaging in at least three favorite hobbies and joined new organizations such as Pecos County Dinner Tonight Cooking Club and Ft. Stockton Critique Café and the FSISD Campus Improvement Board at Intermediate School. She hopes to be around for another ‘couple of years’. Her hobbies include writing, reading, collecting vintage cookbooks, and vintage tea cups, arts and crafts, floral design, and cooking .
Spotlight Feature Article: Glenda Bonham—The Wreath
The sedan’s front bumper hit the iron guardrail with a resounding clang, causing the car to die and back-fire. The two silver-haired sisters popped open doors to climb out directly in front of the ‘Cemetery Visitors Parking’ sign. Mildred paused to get a small wreath from the back seat while her passenger, Sula complained, “Sister, if you don’t get those cataracts taken care of, you’re going to be the death of both of us.”
“The sun was in my eyes,” Mildred explained.
“The sun is behind us. And you almost scared me to death running out in front of that gravel truck a couple of days ago.”
They took a paved walk-way into the well-kept little cemetery, walking side-by-side. Mildred peered around for a long minute and said, “Can you see where they planted Dixie Mae? I can’t see that far.”
“Straight ahead. I still don’t know why you insist on placing a wreath on her grave every year.”
“She was my friend,” Mildred returned sadly. “And she died such a strange death.”
“Did she ever! Woke up and found him dead from strangulation on his own dentures. She called 911 and then realized she’d been sleeping with a corpse for hours, and dropped dead of a heart attack.”
“It was such a shock to me.” Mildred said sadly.
“I bet it was a shock to her husband when the police called him at that convention and told him about it, too.”
“I was afraid to talk to the man right after Dixie’s funeral that day,” Mildred confessed. “All I knew was that she had said she was fond of her new mailman because he always delivered in a prompt manner. I didn’t know what she meant at the time she said it, and I was afraid to tell her husband that.”
“Oh look-there is that gaudy, awful headstone that Carol Broom picked out for herself,” Sula reported gazing into the distance.
“That’s the most tacky, ugly thing…”
“I can’t see that far. Well, we all have our own taste.”
“That headstone isn’t a matter of taste; it’s a complete lack of taste. It could be the poster child for grade C horror movies.”
“I don’t think they make grade C movies, Sula.”
“You haven’t seen the horror movies I have. Every other afternoon I buy a show ticket and get all settled into a reclining seat to take my nap, because my air conditioner at home won’t work like it used to. I can’t even sleep for all the blood-curdling screaming on the screen. I mean does anybody really scream that long and that loud? Wouldn’t you use your energy and just run away?”
“I can’t say for sure. I’ve never been butchered by a motorcycle gang of psychopaths with chainsaws, wearing hockey masks, yet. But, when it happens, I’ll let you know.”
“You see that?” Sula asked thoughtfully, “There are two fresh graves over there beside Carol Broom’s hideous headstone.” “I can’t see that far.”
“Let’s go see if that’s someone we knew.” Sula prompted, “I don’t recall reading anyone’s obituary in the paper in the last few of days. Let’s take this next path to the left.”
“I can’t see that far.”
“Turn left now, sister!” Sula exclaimed impatiently, “For crying out loud, when are you going to get your cataracts removed?”
“I don’t know. The thought of someone poking around inside of my eyeballs scares me.”
“Does being ‘poked’ under the bed of a loaded gravel truck going seventy miles an hour scare you less? It’s miracle you swerved in time.”
“Can you read a name on the new graves?” Mildred strove to change the subject.
Sula put a hand to the side of her face to shield her attention from the gaudy stone near-by. She squinted at a dangling card on a spray of wilted flowers and experienced a jolt.
“You won’t believe this!” Sula exclaimed, “The lady planted here had your exact same name, Mildred.”
“I can’t see that far.”
Sula side-stepped to squint at a card left on the second fresh grave and experienced a deeper shock. “This lady had my exact name! Mildred?…You did swerve in time to miss that loaded gravel truck…didn’t you?”
“I thought I did…”
“Ohhhh, noooo!” Sula wailed, “Look what you’ve done! I’ve been planted next to Carol Broom’s hideous headstone for all eter- nity! Mildred, if you weren’t already dead, I’d kill you, again! I’ll have to look at this poster child for a grade C horror movie for all time!”
“I can’t see that far.”