Among the Heller kin, leastwise anybodies' kin, there shore wasn't anything more special and unpredictable than the Heller twins! It is them two who made history shed a tear of pride, away back in 1945. Changed the town, and some say, by gum, the whole country sorta shifted places in their moral universe and turpitude! Of course, nowadays, what Tweet and Rip managed to accomplish then, some would just call "celebrating diversity through exploration" or some name that just don't ring true what happened, for real.
Food was hard to come by, everywhere, rations were tight, biogtry was hard to swallow and tempers were tried.
Happened there lived down from the Heller twins, a John Schmidt and his Missus, Elvey Nells, straight from the forests of Germany. I don't need to tell you, but with the War on full, tweren't too easy for John and Elvey Nells, no how! Why what with lots of folks given them the evil eye when they went to the town some days, and all because they answered to the name of Schmidt and was somewheres away back, related to those dastards given our boys heck over in Rhineland.
Anyway, back to what I was saying, wasn't long before John Schmidt up and died from contracting the worst case of pneumonia seen in years 'round those valleys. Elvey Nells got stricken with the same while nursing John most long days and longer nights. She out chased the pneumonia, but only barely, and was left with a limp like to throw her body left and right when she walked, and kept a whole lotta folks scratching their heads in wonder. I'm a drifting again...
Yessir, John never did out chase the pneumonia. After he gasped a final shuddering spasmodic gulp of air and looked skyward like he was hearing angelic harps, he left Elvey Nells a fending pretty much alone and in a fair financial bind, for sure. Seems like everyday afterward, she was a struggling to make ends meet, and working as hard as she could digging away in that there Victory Garden out yonder, and working harder for the US boys overseas too.
Guess a broken heart and hard work finally took its toll on Elvey Nells, afterall. Wasn't long before one day, Tweet and Rip happened on down to Elvey Nells to deliver some fresh cattle milk like they always did on Tuesdays. They never expected, as they stopped to dip and weave a little in the stream on the way, what they'd find. And,...when they was finally down the holler,that's when they found her. Shame 'ole mighty. Elvey Nells was lying in the Victory Garden dead and cold as a doorknob on the fuhrers' bunker door! Didn't phase Rip one iota past a wink, but Tweet had a fair time shaking that memory of Elvey Nells just a lying so peaceful like flattening the tops of the entire near five rows of ruby red turnips braving in between the pea lime green cabbage heads that were just big enough to take a light to. Funny thing Tweet said later, was the all-knowing smile on Elvey Nells' face. Now moving onward,
Being Elvey Nells had no more kin and it wouldn't be right that she was planted in that V for Victory Garden anyways no how, the Heller's, took it upon themselves to set Elvey Nells to her final resting place. They were dang nice folks! They took a heart all their lives to folks when the need called. And the need was calling for Elvey Nells now! The Hellers up and buried her in the Heller family cemetery, on yonder hill behind the Heller claim what was left to them by kinfolk! Wasn't more than a walked off patch of ground good for nothing and lying fallow on the edge of the hill anyway. Just like that, Elvey Nells was part of history, once she was planted snug with the last of the rich brown earth spilt over her eternal home alongside some late dandelions. Yes sir, old Elvey Nells' is a restin in peace with the Heller kin now and their maker, isn't that something peculiar fine?
Anyway, things weren't quite the same round bout now that the Schmidt's, in particular and primarily of late, Elvey Nells, were gone. Seems like some spit and fire went out of the fun belittling folks around town. Words on the street were that folks felt cheated out of doing their part and fair share of slinging hate mud against innocent folks while fighting their own brand of peculiar battle for our boys against war criminals. But, still for the most part, folks kindly felt ashamed of themselves in general for not standing up and speaking out, leastwise the ones with conscience did. But nobody could put a finger on exactly what it was that was a bothering them, leastwise not yet.
Bout a week after the Heller familys' rusty cemetery gates were tied shut with the dried split baler twine and the twins had packed away their black morning clothes in moths for the next visit the old grim reaper made, something happened. Don't you know that Tweet and Rip headed on down to Elvey Nells' sweat and tears Victory Garden!
Some say the twins had a divine purpose for going that day, others say it just came upon them real slow like. What those two twins did in the space of a few weeks, with their tired worn out ma, and their sisters Justine and Becker following their lead, surprised a whole lotta folk.
Tweet and Rip, tore straight into the cabbage down in Elvey Nells' garden, right where she had keeled over the week before, worms and all! No sirree, Tweet and Rip weren't for leaving Elvey Nells', of late lifes' work nor the turnips, go idle one whit either!
Weren't long afore the best blue ribbon saurkraut, anybody can remember to this day,was born steeping pungent and strong right there in the same kettles used by Elvey Nells' on her sad pride and joyous delight, her outdated 1901 stove. Elvey Nells always did polish that stove up real proud like. Time was, folk could remember she would sit up all night a fussing and boiling the Grim All Farms pork sausage somedays til dawn! The smell from those Grim All Farms pork could send you to paradise faster than dancing with the USO girls, to the sound of Rum 'n Coconuts,...that's for sure! And, like I was saying, dressed up and sitting alongside the sauerkraut was the bitter and turnips, all fine and jarred, pretty as you pleased.
Tweet and Rip didn't stop there, resting on their laurels with the finest produce your eyes saw turned into tasty, lip smacking goodness! Oh, no,.. not them twins...they up and packed their victuals in the back seat of the hand-me-down family rusted Model T, that sported worn seats prouder than a preening pup. Not that it matters a hill a beans, but some said the "T" was ill-gotten in the 20s' by a moonshining Pennsylvania Yankee. There, alongside Daniel and Guz flapping their jaws all the way, the twins lit, right sputtering, clean to the County Seat straight into the County Fair Day, they did! That day they won the Daughters' of the Revolution Ribbons, the Sisters of the Peace Medal, not to mention a special commendation by the sweating hippo of a town Mayor, that danged radical hypocrite! Why, if I had a dime for every promise he broke, I'd been a millionaire years ago. Getting back on track..
Invest in America and buy a bond!
This story's a tribute to Elvey Nells, for sure and others like her and John who came to America for a dream and a future or died trying. But, the story? It's more than a tribute.
Those twins, Tweet and Rip, they shore made people see things alot different after that day, what with the sauerkraut and turnips trading hands with bonds for the War Effort.
A lot of folks sorta just realized that Americans aren't the only ones born here ready made and loving this country. No sirree, you can come ready made across her borders a loving this Country because it's filled with hope and dreams and a special kind of freedom where you really are free.
You can love a country that holds morals high and freedom what every dang one of them deserves. Where families can stay together and pray together. And, you can love someplace like America in spite of all the sniping and pie eyed looks and crow you might be eating because you're a different color or from a different country and have a voice to say hold up enoughs enough!
For some folks, it's enough to be an American, to die for America or to die free on Americas' soil.
Here's to you and your V Garden Elvey Nells, and here's a smart salute to Tweet and Rip.
The flag? Long may she proudly wave!
Yep, sure jarred folks 30 Miles South of No Where' Yonder.
(A Victory for Veri·si·mil·i·tu·di·nous Wording, too)