Friday, September 25, 2009


The name alone conjures a throwback glamor. Ernestyne walked in cool and collected, unaffected by her canes, one in each hand, the handles smooth and glossy from wear. At first she stayed silent. She said she was better at listening than speaking and never knew what to write about anyway. She wasn't used to telling stories either. She said, "If people asked me, I would offer my little bit of assistance." It just didn't seem like she had ever been asked. But when I started telling my story, about my relationship with my grandma, about the reason why I wanted to be there at the senior center and listen to them at that very table, Ernestyne lit up. Her eyes became jewel-like. She had been keeping her head down - she was reading with intrigue Christine's pink hardcovered book that had been making its way around the table - but suddenly she looked into my eyes and said, "The best things are those that are available in life, those that I received a few years ago." I felt like I was hearing a poem. I was confused. I wasn't exactly sure what she meant, but I felt like maybe this time I should keep silent too, and just let her words hang there, and maybe in the weeks to come, slowly, in her own time, she would tell us what she meant. And then she wrote. Bit by bit. She wrote only very little each time. I could see because I was sitting right by her. Every time she paused, she would tap my elbow and say, "What do you think? How do you think this sounds?" Then she would light up with another thought and return to her paper again. And then to me. And then to the paper. Back and forth like that. I told her she was a great writer, that she could say in half a page what people take three pages to write.
Ernestyne Whiteside Bush
September 24, 2009
Good afternoon everyone: welcome to the inner chamber of my life.
Ny name is Ernestyne Whiteside Bush, and I am not related to our ex-President, George Bush.
That is what she wrote. In paranthesis. She showed me. When she showed me, she wasn't smiling. She waited till I smiled, and then she beamed.
However, I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee near Lookout Mountain, which is noted for three mountains easily obtained from a short distance.
This area is my mother's area where her family lived.