A Christmas Memory


A Christmas Memory: Truman Capote

This story, "A Christmas Memory," is a nonfiction reminence of one fond memory of Capotes\'.

A distant relative of Truman Capote\'s, Sook Faulk, took care of him through his childhood. Sook dubbed Truman with the nickname "Buddy," after a former best friend. During one November morning, when Buddy was seven, Sook decided it was fruitcake weather. She called him to get their buggy and her hat to go pick pecans. Queenie, their terrier who has survived illness and snake bites, follows them on their errand. After picking pecans for three hours, Buddy and Sook began hulling their buggyload. The discussion during dinnertime was the need of materials to make the cakes, and the lack of funding to do so. Sook and Buddy begin reminiscing about how they managed to gather their meager sums. People in the house donate a dime or two. Buddy and Sook make some money by selling jams and jellies, rounding up flowers for funerals and weddings, rummage sales, contests, and even a Fun and Freak museum. The secret fund is hidden in an old beaded purse under a loose board in the floor. They never remove the purse from under Sook\'s bed unless making a deposit or a ten-cent withdrawal on Saturdays. She allots Buddy ten cents to go to the picture show each Saturday. Sook has never visited one before, but asks Buddy to go instead to come back and tell she the stories of the picture show. After dinner, Sook and Buddy retire to a room in a faraway part of the house where her sleep\'s at night, to count their treasure. When finished counting, Buddy declares the total was thirteen dollars. Sook, being a very superstitious person, throws a penny out of the window. The next morning Sook and Buddy go to town to purchase the necessary ingredients for the cakes. Whiskey, the most expensive and hardest to obtain ingredient was needed to complete the day\'s shopping. Since whiskey sale was forbidden by law, they had to travel to Mr. Haha Jones for it. Mr. Haha owned a "sinful" bar near the river. When Sook receives a bottle of whiskey in exchange for a fruitcake, she decides to add an extra cup of raisins in his cake. The two go home and begin to make their cakes. These cakes where intended for friends or acquaintances, not necessarily neighbor friends. They sent most to people they have met once, or maybe not at all. The thank-you note cards sent in return made them feel connected to the world. After sending the fruitcakes off and spending all of their savings, Sook decides to celebrate with the two inches of whiskey left in the bottle. The thought of drinking straight whiskey somewhat bothered them. Since they have never experienced it before, they began tasting. Prancing around the kitchen, giddy and happy, two angry relatives enter. They began to scold Sook and blamed her for corrupting a child of seven. As Sook looks down and blows her nose on her flowered skirt, she runs to her room to cry. Buddy follows her and tries to comfort her. He reminds her of tomorrow\'s plans, finding a Christmas Tree and Holly. Sook promises to find the best tree and the best holly for them. The next day they walk around the forest in search of a tree on Christmas Eve afternoon. They picked a tree that was twice as tall as Buddy and very strong. Buddy and Sook wheeled the large tree home in their buggy to decorate. People passing by complimented them on such a wonderful tree, and some even offered to buy it. They made ornaments to decorate the tree out of colored paper, crayons, and tin foil. They each made kites for each other, and bought Queenie a beef bone. During the night, Sook could not sleep. She woke-up Buddy and they talked until the sun rose. Sook wanted so badly to buy Buddy a bike for Christmas, but couldn\'t afford one for him. She told him that she made him a kite, and he confesses that he made one for her, also. When day breaks, they hurry downstairs to make noise, and awaken the other relatives. Buddy was