[No cats were harmed in the making of this blog. They all love to be spanked.] Exploring the psychology 'behind' spanking through fiction and poetry. Because, nothing says 'I love you' better than a red, sore, bare bottom. Comments welcome and discussion encouraged. I believe spanking between consenting adults leads to closer and more intimate relationships. Spanking is not a kink, not a fetish, not a lifestyle, but rather, a healthy and honest means of communication. Let your mind free and respect will follow. Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome my spanko friends. First of all, I’d like to thank all of you who commented on my post last December and offered condolences for my wife’s death. It’s has been three months now and I am coping okay. This past weekend I went down to Sanibel Island, Florida to scatter some of her ashes on the beach where we vacationed this past August. Today, March 1st, is her birthday and I wrote a poem for her. I posted it along with pictures on my blog.
Not this one. No, not that one either.
Not a blog that any of you know about, well, with two exceptions.
Before I get into that, y’all need a bit of history. So kick back, relax in your leggings/fleece/flannel or nothing at all, while I try to wrap this up in under a thousand words. 😉
I started blogging in 2006 focusing on women’s rights, abuse, rape, mental health; all the negative things that happen in our societies worldwide. I wanted to shine the light on abhorrent behavior through ‘Truth is Freedom’. I gradually built an audience, started posting poems and fiction as well as essays, and found myself posting every single day. In fact, I kept a 30-day buffer of completed daily posts so that I had time to write my first novel at work. But I consider myself a poet first and foremost. A fiction writer second. And I’m a damn good poet.
1. The first blog. 02/2006 to 02/2012. 450 posts. Now private because I was getting thousands of spam comments every day.
2. The next blog. 09/2006 to 02/2012. 130 posts. Public but not mine.*
3. The next blog. 10/2006 to 02/2012. 007 posts. Now private. Contains most of my poetry at 1000+ poems in seven folders.
4. The next blog. 07/2009 to 01/2017. 020 posts. Public but not mine.*
5. The next blog. 09/2009 to present. 620 posts. This very spanking blog you are reading.
6. The next blog. 07/2010 to 01/2012. 013 posts. Now private. About my poly phase.
7. The next blog. 07/2016 to present. 580 posts. Public, under my real first name, with poetry and fiction.
8. The next blog. 05/2017 to present. 030 posts. Public as Byron Cane, erotica author.
As you can see, I’ve been blogging for 15 years – with many breaks – but have kept my fictional spanking life walled off from my real life. Until now.
*This is the exception. The two starred* blogs don’t belong to me, but her, Dewy Knickers, who also blogs as Bawdy Wench, who is Rose, who is part of us as multiple personalities. She’s not linking, but will see how it goes with me first. She is on the poetry blog however if you dig on the sidebar. She wants you to have to work to find her and her book.
And as an aside, I’m proud to be a multiple personality, and damn proud of Rose. She’s fucking amazing, as a writer, a poet, a woman and as my friend.
And we could fucking care less about trolls… other than diced and fried for breakfast.
The poem is “My Wife’s Ashes’ and is posted on my other writing blog, There Are More Poets Than Stars in The Firmament. Please click the highlighted title of the poem and you will be taken to the post. If you feel moved to comment, but don’t want to link your D/s blog to my vanilla blog, then feel free to comment on this post instead. Thank you and please take some time if you can to explore my other writing. There are quick link pages at the top of the blog and categories in the sidebar.
Now to the FREE OFFER!!!!
Well, it’s not here. Not there.
It’s right here instead..
As you know, as Byron Cane, I am participating in Smut Marathon 2018. Until March 10th — next Saturday — you can vote at this link here for the top three stories you like best. What I did was copied and pasted the 62 stories into a Word docx. and by condensing, printed out 15 pages to read later. The results of Round 2 will be announced on Sunday, March 11th along with the names of the 40 writers to advance to Rounds 3 and 4. Please vote, we had a very light turnout last time.
This coming Thursday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. In honor of that, Sexy Little Pages is publishing their latest anthology, Corrupted. I have the honor of having a short story accepted called, Ghosting Past Emily. You can read more about the story at my other blog with this link. The anthology is currently available for pre-orders through a number of online retail stores via this link here.
If you haven’t explored my blog, there is a page titled: Published fiction available for purchase as Byron Cane. You can follow the links to Amazon and purchase ebook copies of my works.
Coming soon will be another novella, The Witch of Olympus Hollow. I’ll provide links when it is published.
From Sunday, Feb 11th until Saturday, Feb 17th, voting is now open at this link for Round 1 of Smut Marathon 2018. There are 75 entries to read, all a maximum of 30 words. Each reader gets to vote once for the top three that best meets the assignment criteria. Please also consider leaving feedback for the authors, your comments will be posted after the polls close as to not influence other voters.
Writer’s Assignment Round 1: Write an Erotic Metaphor
– only one sentence
– give your text a one-word title
– your text with the metaphor is a maximum of 30 words (excluding title)
Writers are not allowed to tell anyone which entry they have written!
You can only vote once.
The voting round closes on 17 February 2018 at 23.00 CET
Results of the voting round will be published on this site on 18 February 2018 and then I [The Smut Master, Marie Rebelle] will announce the author of each metaphor.
For a very limited number of days this week, my novella, The Case of the Disciplined Valentine, is available for FREE on Amazon for ereader devices. As you can see from the screen shot below, it’s currently doing quite well.
Disclaimer: The Case of the Disciplined Valentine, with minor changes, is the same novella as previously published in the Lust in Lace anthology, as Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine. If you have already purchased the anthology in ebook or audio book, then there is no need to purchase it again… unless you want to financially support me. 🙂
A comedy of Victorian manners mixed with delicious spankings and sexual encounters guaranteed to raise even a vampire’s blood pressure. Byron Cane sets a torrid pace in his historical paranormal erotic novella.
It is 1854 in steampunk London, and Sir Nachton MacRath is warily returning to his home isle after decades abroad. He has good reasons to steer clear of the Royal Family, but is immediately snared by the Queen herself, who anoints him, Her Chastiser of Loose Morals, complete with elevation to the upper reaches of the aristocracy. Rather than a quiet existence as a vampire, he is now a Peer uneasily rubbing shoulders with the most powerful men in the Empire.
Phoebe Hayward is a lady of good breeding, but like all her contemporaries, longs for some excitement and romance. Valentine’s Day is only weeks away, when their paths cross with a bump. Despite later discovering the man ordered to discipline her is actually a vampire, she can’t help falling in love. The more encounters with Sir MacRath she has, the more her body yearns to know what it is to submit to his vampiric touch. When he reluctantly agrees to be her Valentine, thus begins a Domination and discipline the likes of which she’s never dreamed.
MacRath doesn’t feel he deserves Phoebe’s love, and attempts to push her away by taking her deeper into sexual submission. She surprises him — and herself — by eagerly submitting to his every desire. Together, they explore the sensual heights that a woman and a man — a vampire — can reach. But politics and conflict are never far away, and the Valentine’s Day deadline comes all too soon.
For the first time in ten days, the steady ‘thump-thump’ of the engines and boiling thrashing of the magnificent side-mounted paddle wheels fell silent. The harbor pilot called down to the tug.Thus began the ancient and primal ballet of man versus water as seasoned hands strove to bring the steamer from America into safe mooring. As it docked, heavy hemp hawsers and thick bollards were tossed over the side to waiting stevedores. The shrill triumphant shriek of the steam whistle echoed among the emigration sheds where the starving poor sought passage to a new life in the former colonies. Vast clouds of slate gray and white gulls took flight as the noise reduced the raucous calls of workers to pantomime.
The blast faded and the flocks swooped to await handouts from the new arrivals. A crowd had gathered to meet the arriving ship. Touts held up placards bearing names of lodging and dining establishments. Open steam carriages emblazoned with coats-of-arms and commercial enterprises chuffed impatiently quayside, uniformed chauffeurs chatting amiably with gloved hands held over barrels of flame. A late arrival coasted silently to a stop along the quay. The pennants on the front bumper proudly waved the Three Lions of the House of Hanover. Eyebrows rose: no Royal had been listed on the telegraphed manifest.
At the gangplank’s head, Sir Nachton MacRath waited to debark, nose wrinkled in protest. The tide had reached slack, raw sewage and industrial offal collecting in rotted mats along the banks of the River Mersey. After eighteen years away, on this fifteenth day of January, in the Year of Our Lord 1854, he prepared to once again set foot on his native soil. Well, to be precise, tarred oak planks covered with guano and rubbish. Six months removed from San Francisco, he was glad to be finally back, although unsure of his welcome. He had run afoul of the Regent in late 1835 and, despite repeated assurances from the Queen in the following decades, he had decided instead to tour the Near East and China.
By fortuitous timing, MacRath had sailed from the Sandwich Islands to the sparsely populated lands of Northern California (still Mexican, for a short while longer) in 1848. The subsequent fortune he’d created during the Gold Rush was not from water blasting the hillsides, but from parlaying the exotic nature of his Scottish title into land and mercantile trade for the arriving miners.
The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie is one of the books included in the giveaway of a collection of over 60 romance ebooks and a Kindle! The winner also gets a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Three other winners will get a $50 Amazon Gift Card. You have until March 3rd, 2018 to enter.
As Byron Cane, I run my other blog, Byron Cane Spanking and Erotic Fiction, to highlight my published fiction. This recent post about my latest ebook, The Case of the Disciplined Valentine, also includes an extract and a link to obtaining a free copy of the first several thousand words of the novella, courtesy of Instafreebie. The entire novella will be available for purchase around Feb 5th, 2018. Subscribe and follow Byron Cane for more updates.
If you would like to see the book cover and a few details about my latest to-be-published-very-soon ebook, click here for a preview at my other blog, Byron Cane Spanking and Erotic Fiction. Subscribe/follow to be informed when and where you can purchase, The Case of the Disciplined Valentine at a special price.
It was my turn to take deep breaths in order to calm my racing pulse. Wiping my slick palm on my skirt, I panted three times and raised my right arm out wide. Inhaling and holding, I released the air from my lungs with a convulsive exhalation as I swung, eyes fixated on the center of the target bent before me. I didn’t even hear the crack as the leather dug into and rebounded from her mooned posterior. I watched as my blow blossomed into fresh red vines swirling across the previous lines. He did not assist her to rise.
Rather than read each individual drabble, you can go to this page which has links to all the complete previous chapters. For easier reading, once I have posted all 30 drabbles, I repost the entire chapter in 3,000 words.
Hope everyone — in America — survived Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Today is Cyber Monday, and what better way to celebrate the occasion with a purchase of, The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie, for yourself or a loved one. That’s right, Stephanie, the complete novella, is now available to purchase for your ereader device.
Find Stephanie at Books 2 Read with links to online booksellers and ereaders, including Kindle, Nook, Apple, Kobo, 24S and Angus & Robertson.
If you already have an Amazon account, then click this link to go directly to Stephanie’s page in your country.
When Stephanie crashes (quite literally) into the life of Ross, high flying exec in the fashion world and eligible bachelor, she is stupefied he wants her as his. Under Ross’ tutelage, as Brat to his Sir, she learns that she can be spanked for more than just being naughty! And Ross — he discovers there’s much more to Stephanie than just her submissive need to be disciplined, as he falls more and more in love. A brilliantly funny, light-hearted, spanking erotic romance novella by Byron Cane, with memorable characters and a beautiful love story interwoven into the sexiness, lending a contemporary twist to the princess fairy tale.
The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie, began as a modern updated tribute to The Perils of Pauline. It is a slightly satirical send up of both the contemporary spanking scene, and popular culture’s fascination with kink through the guise of both D/s and D/D. The novella is meant to be funny, corny, sprinkled with numerous touchstones and sly wordplay, while simultaneously weaving a constant serious spanking story line that turns romantic and erotic with a HEA ending.
The first part of the novella details the spankings Stephanie receives in various settings by her neighbors and boss. These are not always graphically described, but are rather the result of Stephanie’s hapless bumbling into situations requiring discipline. A third of the way through the novella, she meets Ross at a restaurant party hosted by her boss. The sparks (and spanks) fly between them, and Ross finds himself scrambling to keep up with the vivacious and mischievous Stephanie. Before the week is out, through both discipline and erotic spankings, they fall deeply in love with each other, and Ross’ firm hand. Each chapter builds upon the previous story line as various supporting characters reveal their own kinky backgrounds. In the end, everyone is satisfied, and Ross sexually claims Stephanie for his own.
On a personal note, I want to offer my thanks to Ina Morata, owner, editor and publisher of Clarian Press. Without her expertise in editing, Stephanie wouldn’t be the quality book it is now. When I wrote the first episode back in July, 2016 for Wicked Wednesday, I never imagined that the flash fiction post would wind up being a novella. So you thank you, Ina, and thank you readers for your loyalty and support.
P.S. As the author, I’ve probably read Stephanie dozens of times. Yet, the ending chapters always make me cry in happiness. I love, love this story and am extremely proud to offer this novella to you.
This week I received the 400th follower to this blog. I don’t have anything special to offer though. No sweepstakes, no cruise for two, no lifetime supply of dark chocolate. Sorry. 🙂
However, I do get this warm fuzzy feeling whenever I get a notification of a new reader. You’d think that after all these years, I’d be more jaded, but I’m not. I am so thrilled that even one person likes what I write, never mind hundreds.
Speaking of writing, I know I’ll never be the most popular, or the most eloquent and, since I rarely write anything personal about myself, certainly won’t have millions of people waiting for my next tweet. Which I don’t: Tweet. I don’t have any social media accounts; I don’t consider blogging to be social media, although when it started, it was. Since been eclipsed by other platforms.
I’m not a tormented author; I don’t huddle in bed bemoaning lack of progress or rend my clothes shrieking when the perfect prose eludes my grasp. Writing for me is fun. Primarily because the fiction I write; I write because it interests me. I know from reading other blogs, that my stories are often pale imitations of the ‘real’ deal when it comes to sex and discipline. But that’s okay, I prefer delving into the mental and emotional aspects of characters rather than intimate details of pieces and parts.
Will I ever post pictures here? No. Will I ever reveal my sexual history? No. Will I ever meet any of you in person? Maybe.
What I will do is keep writing fiction and poetry about spanking and sex from the submissive female perspective — with a little dominance thrown in for good measure. I mean, Byron Cane is a large pen name to live up to. He creates an image of sage wisdom, pithy advice and a keen eye for the feminine posterior. Of course, I could just be blowing smoke up your asses. Only time will tell. 🙂
Breaking NEWS!!!!!!! Stop the presses!!!!!! Hold the phones!!!!!!! Alert the feeds!!!!!!!!!
For a limited time only, you may click this link to Instafreebie and claim your very own FREE copy of the first 5 Chapters of The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie. The entire novella will be available for download to your ereader November 27th, 2017. If you are a book reviewer or would like to receive an advance copy in order to publicize Stephanie on your social platforms, please contact Ina Morata [Owner, Editor, Publisher of Clarian Press] at this contact link to send an email of query.
I guess I did have something for joining the 400 Club after all. Have a happy day and good reading.
Last week I shared the beginning pages of The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie over on my other blog, Byron Cane Spanking and Erotic Fiction. The post is called WIP it Wednesday: A date with Stephanie. I will be sharing a longer excerpt tomorrow there, but today I wanted to share a couple of snippets here. [It will make more sense if you read last week’s post first, but it’s not mandatory.] Only a fortnight to go! That’s two weeks or fourteen days. My publisher, Clarian Press, calls The Spanking Misadventures of Stephanie“An updated modern-day fairy tale romance with spanking.”
Excerpt #1. [On the way to work]
Once more the heavy wooden brush spanked her quivering buttocks. Mr. Johnson hit much harder; the smacks and distressed cries echoed loudly in the enclosed space.
Unfortunately for the sniffling Stephanie, the elevator stopped at every floor going down. She blushed in humiliation as she explained to each new potential passenger that she was being a naughty girl… again. All of them smiled, waved to her neighbors, and said they’d wait for the next elevator. By the time the lobby was reached, her bottom under the peek-a-boo silk panties was a bright gleaming pink.
She composed herself as Mrs. Garcia congratulated Mr. Johnson for a ‘job well done’. After one final loud spank on her bottom, Stephanie fidgeted when they complimented the pretty color of her cheeks, and sighed when they finished with a close-up inspection and check of warmth by hand.
Excerpt #2. [Later that same day after work]
“I want you to lay on your back then scoot your bottom up high in air so that your tailbone rests on the arm of the couch. I’m going to put the pillow and towel underneath as you pull your legs back to your chest.” Stephanie made a small sound of protest at Mrs. Garcia’s instructions. “No, darling, I’m not going to spank you, although the diaper position is very effective in getting the point across. I’m going to oil your bottom with aloe and vitamin E like I always do.”
Stephanie had never felt so humiliated before. Thank goodness it wasn’t Mr. Johnson peering down at her wet, curly haired pussy and tiny puckered anus! She let out a long sigh though when the cooling lotion was rubbed into her tender skin.
Stephanie couldn’t help but feel tingly when Mrs. Garcia’s strong fingers spread her thighs even further apart and moved closer to all her moist, flushed nooks and crannies. She blushed and put her arm across her face when Mrs. Garcia teased, “Seems like a certain naughty girl is enjoying her treatment. I wonder if she is thinking about being spanked some more?”
A note about formatting on this post. WordPress does not support a Word type formatting, thus the lack of indents. Yes, I could add spaces before each paragraph, but I’m not. It’s not that bad. My novella, The Witch of Olympus Hollow, is told in first person and the excerpt below is the Prologue and part of Chapter One. The anthology in total, is Lust in Spring. The story itself has erotic passages with the spanking as discipline only. The style is a memoir based upon diary entries, and set in 1952, except for the Prologue and Epilogue which are set in present day. If I had to place my novella in a genre, it would be: Green Mythological Erotica.
Just a reminder, if you would like to read and write a review for your blog, Goodreads and/or Amazon, please contact me and I will send you a free copy of my novella as a Word .docx in exchange for your honest review. The entire anthology is a free download if you have Kindle Unlimited, or 99 cents for a limited time with regular Kindle. Please see Amazon for details.
What do a wealthy divorcee, a gay college student, five men trapped in a cottage, and a college graduate in the 1950s have in common? Each has a date with the supernatural. In Lust in Spring, the sixth volume in the Lust series, Spring is a time of renewal and desire. Gods, goddesses, incubi and the Fae will seduce and beguile their mortal lovers. But the price for pleasure must be paid.
In Byron Cane’s The Witch of Olympus Hollow, it’s 1952, and Gale Johnson is outraged when her parents send her packing to a tiny town in Appalachia to visit the mysterious great aunt she has never met. In the foothills of North Carolina, Gale will discover a wondrous birthright. A lifetime of discipline and sexual satisfaction awaits, but her destiny comes at a cost.
In JD Carabella’s Milady’s Command, Juliet has wasted fifteen years on a loveless marriage. She’s a beautiful, sexual woman, and she needs a man who will surrender to her lust. Will her secret fantasy of power and control drive away the man worthy of her attention? Juliet’s dream can come true, if she’s willing to pay the price.
In Emma Jaye’s Incubus Spring, university student Finn has a dilemma: which man to pick? His current boyfriend, Charlie, is the take-charge type Finn wants. Problem is, Charlie is more interested in managing Finn’s budget than his body. Then there’s Ezra. It’s tough to resist when the sexy owner of an adult toy store offers hands-on demonstrations. Torn between loyalty and lust, the unwitting prey in a seductive game of cat and mouse, Finn’s decision will shape his destiny.
One goddess. Five men. In Ina Morata’s The Greenwood Goddess, it’s Beltane, and five men have been taken prisoner by Gaia. They’ve been set a quest: compete for the goddess’ favor with the best erotic story. As captivated as the rest, Ben is desperate to win, not least because in this strange and magical place, losing has serious consequences. But if he wins… will the prize be what it seems?
As the title says, people round these parts think I’m a witch: these parts being Olympus Hollow. There you go; I repeated the title for y’all. No applause needed, we’re good. Or as the saying goes: word.
My name is Gale Johnson, of the Johnsons of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on the Main Line. How I ended up in the far southern reaches of Appalachia, that story is the fault of my mother: harsh but true. I was angry with her for a long time, besides being a stuck-up bitch when I arrived.
I believe I was likely manic-depressive or bi-polar back then, but that doesn’t excuse rudeness. All that’s long past now. I’m eighty-five, or will be next April 1st, the joke’s on me, right?
Leastwise you think I’m a bitter old woman, nothing could be further from the truth. The tale I shall shortly relate here shall only be released upon my death. Ergo, I am currently deceased—with several mitigating circumstances.
I’m not trying to be lawyerly here. As you’ll discover at the end of my memoir, the situation was not exactly cut and dried. In all honesty, I’m probably confusing you—I like to talk—so rather than work backwards in a logical manner, I will instead start at the beginning.
It’s a good thing I kept up my diaries all these years. I’d forgotten I’d written them in first person, present tense back then. The conceit of a recent college graduate I’m afraid, trying to be grownup and sophisticated.
I decided to share excerpts within the prose to highlight my state of mind. I apologize if my lack of empathy shines through my journal entries of those days in 1952, but I will not censor to meet modern sensibilities. I’m too damn old to be PC.
I was young and sheltered: a northern white girl dropped into the segregated South. I did not know of course, that Pennsylvania and the other states of the Union were just as divided as any Confederate state. I had always naively assumed people lived within racial and ethnic boundaries because they wanted to by choice.
So many changes in my lifetime, including the internet and access to a world of information. It’s a lot easier these days to write your thoughts and store them in the cloud.
I do enjoy the spanking blogs; I’m a connoisseur you might say, although my experiences would beat the pants off most of the fiction. Just sayin’: not braggin’.
I’m rambling again, my apologies.
I’m sure you saw the snarky tweets from Clear Cut Resort LLC? The ones where they bitched and whined in 140 characters about the fabulous luxury vacation homes and world-class golf course they wanted to build, but were denied? Or maybe you viewed their lovely Facebook page, with the glossy retouched digital pictures and the CGI video of happy families bathing in the hot spring, frolicking in the natural pool and riding horses through the manicured forest.
I told their Armani wearing lawyers to shove it on more than one occasion. That is our land the fuckers wanted, and they will never get it.
The following is an excerpt of an audio recording by the late Gale Johnson.
Is this thing on? Damn technology. Used to just push a button.
I got it. Chill, dude.
Well, if you’re hearing this, I’m dead. Nothing like my beyond-the-grave voice in stereo, is there? My lawyer, don’t start, insists that I express my wishes verbally, due to the salacious contents I intend to have published.
So here goes.
Like I said, I’m not worried about Olympus Hollow.
I left the land in good hands, very good hands.
What do you mean you want a will and last testament?
Fine! You’re all a bunch of blood-sucking parasites.
Being of sound mind and body, I hereby bequeath all my knowledge and worldly goods to my anointed successor as per the agreement with the principles notated in my memoirs.
Everything you are about to read actually happened to me.
I personally vouch for the authenticity of my interactions with every named person.
All mortal persons, mentioned in the main body of work, are now deceased.
Any persons named in the epilogue, have signed affidavits allowing their likenesses to be utilized in print.
All proceeds from the sale of my memoirs, and any profits from future visual media productions, shall accrue to the Olympus Hollow Charitable Foundation, Inc.
April 1st, 1952
Happy Birthday to me! Today I turn 21 and only three weeks to graduation! My sorority sisters fooled me again and made a BIG deal out of my birthday. That’s why I’m standing at the moment. The paddles are no fun, even though I should be used to them after four years.
I made a wish, of course I did! Chance is so dreamy. He promised me a very special surprise for our date this weekend.
April 23rd, 1952
Thank God I got my monthly! Chance is beastly! I never should have believed him. Thankfully Mother will never find out or else her hairbrush would be worn out on my hiney. Sabrina says you can’t get knocked up French kissing or heavy mouth petting but I’m glad anyway. I never knew keeping my knees together would be so difficult in the heat of the moment.
May 3rd, 1952
Guess what! Great-Aunt Abigail—my namesake I’m told, although I’ve never even heard of her—has invited me to her home! I’m very excited! NOT! An urgent family matter says my dear mother.
Mother says I’m to obey my aunt in all manners. I argued that I’m a college graduate and a grown up, but she packed my hairbrush anyway and even said that G-A.A—aka Great-Aunt Abigail—knew I needed an occasional good dose of discipline! I am so EMBARRASSED!
My beloved parent told me I’d be standing on the train ride to Washington if I didn’t zip it. Daddy only grunted and refused to take my side. He never takes my side!
May 9th, 1952
And so it comes to this. A present for my college degree, the sharp Buick Roadmaster Riviera coupe in Olympic Blue, is sitting outside in the rain back home. While I, after three separate train rides, followed by an ancient bus that trundled up into wild Injun country in far western North Carolina, have finally arrived at the thriving metropolis of Olympus Hollow, population 243.
This is my stop; the driver is calling.
“You mussa be Miss Gale.”
I glanced around in distaste. The bus stop was not a proper station with water fountains and lavatories but merely a wide spot in the road. Wild chickens and feral dogs kicked up dust, while several old white men in denim overalls and seed caps rocked in chairs on the porch of Jebediah’s General Store and spat long streams of brown juice into the dusty gravel parking area.
The speaker was a Negro and his mode of transportation a mule wagon. I was evidently on another planet. This was most defiantly not Cavalcade of Stars with Jackie Gleason. There was no sophisticated sketch comedy in these characters.
I had no congress with the Negro in Bryn Mawr—there were none—although there were plenty to be seen in Philadelphia. Unsure of how to respond, I stuck to politeness.
“Yes, I am Gale Johnson. I am here at the invitation of my Great-Aunt Abigail to spend the month. I was told she would pick me up.”
“Isa be yur ride, Miss Gale. Miss Abigail, she beein’ a touch unda da weatha.” He hopped down and placed my luggage in the back of the wagon. “Ifin ya’ have a seat, Miss, I’lla havin’ ya’ up da mountain ri’ quick.”
“You be careful now, boy, ya here?” one of the white men called out. “Dat be pree-shee-us cargo you be haulin’. Miss Abigail liken to give ya boils iffen ‘er niece ruffles ‘er purty dress. Ain’t that right, sweet thang?”
“Yes, sar, Massa Bohannon.” My driver clucked to his mule and we lurched forward.
I could feel my cheeks flame and stared stiffly ahead while the men guffawed and slapped their thighs and whistled. The harsh ammonia smell of sweat and the sharp scent of fresh dung assaulted my pampered nostrils. We were not moving fast enough to ward off the black flies and soon my hands were in near constant motion in a futile effort to remain pest free.
Then we turned off the narrow highway onto an even narrower track and it was as though we entered another land.
As far into the distance as I could see were rafts of azaleas, rhododendrons and flowering trees and shrubs of every description in a riotous explosion of reds, pinks and whites. The flies and the offensive odors vanished. A shiver ran through me as if were dunked in ice water. An electric current sizzled in the air and my hairs stood up on end.
We passed a large quartz granite marker set off to the right. I heard a loud crack as if thunder had come to the smoky blue sky.
“Did you hear that?” I yelped and clapped my hands over my ears in reflexive protection. “Is there a storm coming?”
“No, Miss Gale, it be a fine day. Isa don’ heard nothin’ but da birds and da bees iffen ya please.”
I looked at him suspiciously but since all I could hear now was the creak of the wheels and the mule’s labored breath, I let it go, and lost myself in the incredible display of vernal color. I’d been annually to the Philadelphia Flower Show as long as I could remember, but this natural extravaganza was beyond anything I had ever seen.
I noticed too, the gravel drive was smooth and the grass verge was neatly mowed. Certainly, a motor vehicle would have no problems ascending the slight grade. Which begged the question, why the mule and driver?
I snuck another peek at the Negro on my left. I felt uneasy. My social upbringing and schooling did not address this situation. I took the easy way out and decided to let Great-Aunt Abigail perform the introduction to her servant.
May 9th, 1952
The Negro’s name is Leroy. G-A.A. explained he and his family live a mile away and farm the land for produce and raise livestock for meat. They are neighbors, not sharecroppers nor employees. I sensed there was much more to the situation but I at least loosened my tongue enough to speak coherent sentences to Leroy.
I felt diminished by my reticence and got the impression Leroy was not awed with my whiteness but would tolerate my ignorance unless I proved malicious.
It was near lunchtime and G-A.A. had prepared ham, cornbread, green beans and either sweet tea or lemonade. After we finished eating she gave me a quick tour.
“This isn’t what I was expecting, Great-Aunt Abigail,” I said as I studied the modern Kenmore kitchen under the glow of electric lights.
“Well,” she admitted, “if you saw some of the folk round here, your preconceptions of dirt floor hovels, outhouses and candles would not be remiss. I do what I can to support the local crafters, like purchasing furniture and linens and labor. I’d like to do more, but these are proud people, Gale—black, white and red—and don’t take kindly to charity. This was Cherokee territory. The Scotch-Irish who eventually settled here cling to Old World traditions and Indian heritage through pure cussedness.”
According to my Great-Aunt, the dwelling was cozy: warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The house sat on a small knoll and faced southwest. The outside foundation to three feet up was constructed of weathered fieldstone held together by gravity. The remainder of the exterior to the eaves was American chestnut, harvested when the blight swept through the Eastern part of the country in the early part of the 20th century. The wide porch was laid with Longleaf Pine planks that matched the interior floors.
At her urging, I took time to wash off the travel grime with hot running water and then laid down for a short nap.