Entries in Social Inquiry (8)


A Mrs. G. Social Inquiry

Author Wally Lamb asked an interesting question on Facebook yesterday that Mrs. G. immediately thought she should share here.

If they were to carve out a Mt Rushmore with women's profiles, who would you choose?

Interesting thought, right? What do you think?


A Mrs. G. Social Inquiry: What Should Yours REALLY Say?

Now this is an obituary. Mrs. G. feels like she really knew Harry as well as you can know a man you haven't camped with. She loves the nitty-gritty, spirited essence his family instilled in his remembrance. It is also a shame that Mrs. G. and Harry weren't neighbors because they could have totally shared wardrobes.

What should your real, truly you obit say?


Harry Weathersby Stamps' Obituary

December 19, 1932 -- March 9, 2013

Long Beach

Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies' man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

Harry was locally sourcing his food years before chefs in California starting using cilantro and arugula (both of which he hated). For his signature bacon and tomato sandwich, he procured 100% all white Bunny Bread from Georgia, Blue Plate mayonnaise from New Orleans, Sauer's black pepper from Virginia, home grown tomatoes from outside Oxford, and Tennessee's Benton bacon from his bacon-of-the-month subscription. As a point of pride, he purported to remember every meal he had eaten in his 80 years of life. 

The women in his life were numerous. He particularly fancied smart women. He loved his mom Wilma Hartzog (deceased), who with the help of her sisters and cousins in New Hebron reared Harry after his father Walter's death when Harry was 12. He worshipped his older sister Lynn Stamps Garner (deceased), a character in her own right, and her daughter Lynda Lightsey of Hattiesburg. He married his main squeeze Ann Moore, a home economics teacher, almost 50 years ago, with whom they had two girls Amanda Lewis of Dallas, and Alison of Starkville. He taught them to fish, to select a quality hammer, to love nature, and to just be thankful. He took great pride in stocking their tool boxes. One of his regrets was not seeing his girl, Hillary Clinton, elected President.

He had a life-long love affair with deviled eggs, Lane cakes, boiled peanuts, Vienna [Vi-e-na] sausages on saltines, his homemade canned fig preserves, pork chops, turnip greens, and buttermilk served in martini glasses garnished with cornbread. 

He excelled at growing camellias, rebuilding houses after hurricanes, rocking, eradicating mole crickets from his front yard, composting pine needles, living within his means, outsmarting squirrels, never losing a game of competitive sickness, and reading any history book he could get his hands on. He loved to use his oversized "old man" remote control, which thankfully survived Hurricane Katrina, to flip between watching The Barefoot Contessa and anything on The History Channel. He took extreme pride in his two grandchildren Harper Lewis (8) and William Stamps Lewis (6) of Dallas for whom he would crow like a rooster on their phone calls. As a former government and sociology professor for Gulf Coast Community College, Harry was thoroughly interested in politics and religion and enjoyed watching politicians act like preachers and preachers act like politicians. He was fond of saying a phrase he coined "I am not running for political office or trying to get married" when he was "speaking the truth." He also took pride in his service during the Korean conflict, serving the rank of corporal--just like Napolean, as he would say.

Harry took fashion cues from no one. His signature every day look was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt designed by the fashion house Fruit of the Loom, his black-label elastic waist shorts worn above the navel and sold exclusively at the Sam's on Highway 49, and a pair of old school Wallabees (who can even remember where he got those?) that were always paired with a grass-stained MSU baseball cap. 

Harry traveled extensively. He only stayed in the finest quality AAA-rated campgrounds, his favorite being Indian Creek outside Cherokee, North Carolina. He always spent the extra money to upgrade to a creek view for his tent. Many years later he purchased a used pop-up camper for his family to travel in style, which spoiled his daughters for life. 

He despised phonies, his 1969 Volvo (which he also loved), know-it-all Yankees, Southerners who used the words "veranda" and "porte cochere" to put on airs, eating grape leaves, Law and Order (all franchises), cats, and Martha Stewart. In reverse order. He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil's Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest. 

Because of his irrational fear that his family would throw him a golf-themed funeral despite his hatred for the sport, his family will hold a private, family only service free of any type of "theme." Visitation will be held at Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport on Monday, March 11, 2013 from 6-8 p.m. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Jeff Davis Campus) for their library. Harry retired as Dean there and was very proud of his friends and the faculty. He taught thousands and thousands of Mississippians during his life. The family would also like to thank the Gulfport Railroad Center dialysis staff who took great care of him and his caretaker Jameka Stribling. 

Finally, the family asks that in honor of Harry that you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time. Harry wanted everyone to get back on the Lord's Time. 

Thanks for this idea, Lisa L. 


A Mrs. G. Social Inquiry: "The Change"

Genevieve Clark (LOC)

Just so you know, we're talking about The Change and all that comes with it...shrinking violets enter with caution.

Click to read more ...


A Mrs. G. Social Inquiry: Shitty Comments


"Bollards," a Dublin Street Corner, June/July 1969, no copright

Today, there is a post on internet trolls by an apparently well know blogger that is causing all kinds of hubbub and fisticuffs because of the clear disagreement, lack of middle ground between readers on how disagreeable commenters should, paraphrasing the blogger's chorus, have no say.

Mrs. G. isn't trying to add fuel to this fire, but the subject of shitty comments has been on her mind for a while. By and large, she thinks she gets off pretty light in the shitty comment department. They show up here and there, sometimes they are hurtful but (with the exception of the whole nutjobs calling her house situation a couple of years ago) she is pretty good at shaking it off.

Lately, for a number of reasons, Mrs. G. has been considering eliminating the opportunity for readers to post anonymously, enabling comment moderation or making Derfwad Manor a private blog, but she keeps coming back to a core belief: She chooses to share her life and its stories on a public forum and it only seems reasonable that she deal with the mostly good and occasional bad. Preventing anonymous comments would deny many readers the chance to reach out and share honestly, and since Mrs. G. considers this a community blog, why stifle the community? She doesn't want to moderate comments because she knows she would approve 99% of comments, so why bother? Making the blog private is the most attractive option to her mainly because it would add an extra layer of privacy for readers (and Mrs. G's choice of topics) and that can't be a bad thing. Still, this blog has a fair amount of readers (new ones show up regularly) and Mrs. G. doesn't want to inadvertantly evolve into an exclusive club which arbitrarily picks and chooses who's in and who's out.

Lovers gonna love. Haters gonna hate. Life's gonna go on.

So, unless a commenter insults a member of Mrs. G's family or another reader, Mrs. G. has decided to let the shitty comments stand.

But the public/private option still lingers.



A Mrs. G. Social Inquiry: Do You Have an Oscar Favorite This Year?


Colony Question of the Day



When is the last time you felt truly loved?




Photo by Pink Sherbert Photography


Remembrance of Things Right Now...Part Two


Mrs.  G. isn't throwing out the Proust questionnaire because she has writer's block or is too busy washing her hair. There is a method to her madness, so if you have time, please reveal yourselves in the next seven questions. You'll see the results next week. Don't you just hate when people do that? It's interesting that the predominant fear of most of you is something happening to your children. Jenn and Mrs. G. are the only ones who fear plunging to their deaths in vehicles. No road trips with you, Jenn.


7.What is your current state of mind?


8.What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


9.On what occasion do you lie?


10.What do you most dislike about your appearance?


11.Which living person do you most despise?


12.What is the quality you most like in a man?


13.What is the quality you most like in a woman?


You'll find Mrs. G. and Melanie in the comments.


Remembrance of Things Right Now...Part One


Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, believed that, in answering his 26 questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.


Come on, Reader, reveal.




1.What is your idea of perfect happiness?


2.What is your greatest fear?


3.What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


4.What is the trait you most deplore in others?


5.Which living person do you most admire?


6.What is your greatest extravagance?




Like you, Mrs. G. and Melanie will answer in the comments.