Saturday, June 7, 2008

A little Texas humor: Bill Bob and Fluella Sue

My high school class (Mansfield, Texas, 1958) held its fiftieth reunion a couple of weeks ago. Ellie and I were not able to attend, but each member of the class had been asked to return a biography page to Glenda F., who was going to create a memory book. Yesterday I received a package from Glenda that I will treasure, a three-ring binder memory book containing our graduation program, our school song, photos of our class in first through fifth grades, and individual pages about each member of the class with our senior portraits from the 1958 annual. There were even memorial pages to those who have passed on.

Forty-three of us graduated together, according to the printed program. The first grade picture shows 28 children sitting on bleachers. Mr. R. L. Huffman, the school superintendent, is standing on one side and Miss Alice Ponder, the teacher, is standing on the other side. I recognized twelve or thirteen children in that picture who went to school together for all twelve grades. Our family moved to Mansfield when I was in the second grade, as did a couple of others with whom we graduated. By the eighth grade we totaled 66, and in the ninth grade we got all the way up to 92 because kids came to our high school from outlying areas that didn't have a high school such as Rendon, Venus, Webb, Britten, Bisbee, and Kennedale. Well, Kennedale had a high school, but that doesn’t count. By graduation night, however, because of dropouts, early marriages, people moving to other places, and so forth, our class had shrunk to 43.

Smack dab in the middle of the memory pages was a page that made me laugh out loud. There, between Johnie Mac D. and Glynn E. was a page for Bill Bob Earl. The photo of him looked just like James Dean. I don’t know who wrote the text, but since it isn't copyrighted, I’m going to share parts of it with you (leaving out the seamier sections):

Bill Bob Earl
Red Light Trailer Park #666
Los Altos, CA 94025
Spouse: Fluella Sue Surles Earl from Venus
Work Phone: I don’t work much
Cell Phone: It don’t work no more

You may not remember me, but I remember you. I attended school with you for ten days our senior year. That’s longer than I ever went to any other school so I consider Mansfield High School my alma mater.

Bill and Fluella Sue have fourteen children: Bubba, 49; Bubba II, 48; Fluella Sue II, 47; Pearlie, 46; Skeeter, 45; the twins, Homer and Jethro, 44; Agatha, 43; twins Gertie and Bertie, 42; Mabel, 41; Earl 40; twins Vaso and Vasoline, 40. Earl and the twins Vaso and Vasoline were born 10 months apart.

I had an accident cutting up wood and gave myself a free vasectomy or I would have had more kids. I loved to have a new crumb snatcher or two every year and that way I never had to buy Fluella Sue a broom or a vacuum sweeper. Fluella Sue loved having kids too. She was real fertile. I attribute that to the Venus water she grew up on.

Bill and Fluella have been blessed with numerous grandchildren. There are too many to remember their names and ages, but at one time they had 110 and still counting.

Bill works at the Los Altos Cattle & Feed Lot. He has been unable to work steadily at any one job due to partial disability from the cutting accident. On good days he shovels manure at the feed lot.

Bill has received several awards. He won third place in the 1988 Tobacco Spittin’ Contest, first place for beer guzzling at the 1980 Beer Fest, ninth place at the Bumper Car Crack-Up in 1974, Finalist in the National Clearing House Sweepstakes Contest in 2007, and an AARP member since 1995.

I want the Biography Book. I want one for the Double-wide and one for my truck. Send two and I’ll send you ten when I get the books.

Sorry we will not be able to make it to the reunion. Fluella Sue is in poor health. Her hips went out on her some time back and she is bed-ridden most days.

Well, I was in stitches by the time I finished reading. What a hoot! The only thing that would have made it any better would be if Bill Bob and Fluella Sue’s home and that Feed Lot where he works were in Waxahachie (and therefore more true to life).


  1. Too funny. Shows a sense of humor about stereotypes.

  2. Oh, hahahahah! Bill Bob and Fluela Sue have got to be cousins of kids with whom I went to school.
    Someone has a great sense of humor! Thanks for sharing; this brightened my day.

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