Laetitia and her group left Louisiana and went to northwest Alabama. Their destination was Florence, a city of about 37,000. They began their tour with the Indian Mound and Museum. The mound, built around 500 AD, is believed to have been a place of ceremony and ritual. The accompanying museum has a collection of artifacts on display that date back 10.000 years. Their next stop was the Rosenbaum house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Blues musician and songwriter W. C. Handy was born in Florence in 1873. He wrote Memphis Blues, Beale Street Blues, Yellow Dog Blues, and Saint Louis Blues. The W. C. Handy Home and Museum is located on the site where the Handy’s log cabin stood and contains personal papers, artifacts, and memorabilia donated by him before his death.
At dinner that evening, Laetitia was seated within earshot of a couple of elderly ladies who were discussing family matters. The focus of much of their conversation was a cousin, Cal, who when young was a “cross to bear” for his mother. He spent much of his youth reading instead of doing the normal things that boys are supposed to do. Sometimes his mother caught him reading books by that dreadful Henry Miller and that awful D. H. Lawrence. Everyone in the family predicted that he wouldn’t turn out well, and, according to the ladies, those prophesies were correct. He’d gone off to Auburn and got a Ph.D. in English and then, much to everyone’s embarrassment, came back here and taught at the University of North Alabama. He was so unlike his other cousins, who had successful respectable careers like televangelism or arms trading in the Middle East. After the ladies left, Laetitia wrote the limerick of the day on her napkin and then presented it to the group.
The source of a scandal in Florence
Was Cal’s penchant for D. H. Lawrence
He preferred Lady Chatterley
To sports or philately
Much to his poor mother’s abhorrence.