This story, “A Christmas Memory,” is a nonfiction reminence of one fondmemory of Capotes’.
A distant relative of Truman Capote’s, Sook Faulk, took care of himthrough his childhood. Sook dubbed Truman with the nickname “Buddy,” after aformer best friend. During one November morning, when Buddy was seven, Sookdecided it was fruitcake weather. She called him to get their buggy and her hatto go pick pecans. Queenie, their terrier who has survived illness and snakebites, follows them on their errand.
After picking pecans for three hours,Buddy and Sook began hulling their buggyload. The discussion during dinnertimewas 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 meagersums. People in the house donate a dime or two.Order now
Buddy and Sook make some moneyby selling jams and jellies, rounding up flowers for funerals and weddings,rummage sales, contests, and even a Fun and Freak museum. The secret fund ishidden in an old beaded purse under a loose board in the floor. They neverremove the purse from under Sook’s bed unless making a deposit or a ten-centwithdrawal on Saturdays. She allots Buddy ten cents to go to the picture showeach Saturday. Sook has never visited one before, but asks Buddy to go insteadto come back and tell she the stories of the picture show.
After dinner, Sookand Buddy retire to a room in a faraway part of the house where her sleep’s atnight, to count their treasure. When finished counting, Buddy declares thetotal was thirteen dollars. Sook, being a very superstitious person, throws apenny out of the window. The next morning Sook and Buddy go to town to purchasethe necessary ingredients for the cakes.
Whiskey, the most expensive andhardest to obtain ingredient was needed to complete the day’s shopping. Sincewhiskey 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 ofwhiskey in exchange for a fruitcake, she decides to add an extra cup of raisinsin his cake. The two go home and begin to make their cakes. These cakes whereintended for friends or acquaintances, not necessarily neighbor friends. Theysent most to people they have met once, or maybe not at all.
The thank-you notecards sent in return made them feel connected to the world. After sending thefruitcakes off and spending all of their savings, Sook decides to celebrate withthe two inches of whiskey left in the bottle. The thought of drinking straightwhiskey somewhat bothered them. Since they have never experienced it before,they began tasting. Prancing around the kitchen, giddy and happy, two angryrelatives enter. They began to scold Sook and blamed her for corrupting a childof seven.
As Sook looks down and blows her nose on her flowered skirt, she runsto her room to cry. Buddy follows her and tries to comfort her. He reminds herof tomorrow’s plans, finding a Christmas Tree and Holly. Sook promises to findthe best tree and the best holly for them. The next day they walk around theforest in search of a tree on Christmas Eve afternoon.
They picked a tree thatwas twice as tall as Buddy and very strong. Buddy and Sook wheeled the largetree home in their buggy to decorate. People passing by complimented them onsuch a wonderful tree, and some even offered to buy it. They made ornaments todecorate the tree out of colored paper, crayons, and tin foil. They each madekites for each other, and bought Queenie a beef bone. During the night, Sookcould not sleep.
She woke-up Buddy and they talked until the sun rose. Sookwanted so badly to buy Buddy a bike for Christmas, but couldn’t afford one forhim. She told him that she made him a kite, and he confesses that he made onefor her, also. When day breaks, they hurry downstairs to make noise, and awakenthe other relatives.
Buddy was disappointed in the gifts he received from hisrelatives. Sook points out to him that the wind is blowing and they should flytheir kites together. This was their last Christmas together. Buddy was sent to militaryschool, prisons, and camps. He had a new home, but felt that it was incompletewithout his friend.
Sook remained in the small town and wrote him regularly. Queenie passed away during one winter and was buried with her favorite bones inSimpson’s pasture. Sook continued to bake fruitcakes until she could not,sending Buddy the best of the batch’. In every letter she enclosed a dimewadded in toilet paper. She asked him to watch a picture show, and write herback the story.
After a while she started to confused Buddy with the otherBuddy she knew, and she stayed in bed more than just the thirteenth of everymonth. Sook passed away and left an irreplaceable part of Buddy empty. Sometimes, he searches the sky for two lost kites, like hearts, hurrying towardthe sky. Opinion Paragraph:My impression of this selection was that Capote wrote it from the heart. This story made me feel like apart of the memory.
It made me see all sides ofthe story and gave descriptions of the characters feelings and thoughts. Thestory made me realize that people young or old can be your best friend. I feltas though there was a lot of love between them. They had no other close familywho cared about each other, as much as they did. Capote wrote this story to letpeople know about his childhood and struggle after being separated from his bestfriend.
The description of the setting and atmosphere made me feel like I wasactually there. It was a very emotional story and I participated in theemotions, along with the characters. I enjoyed this selection throughly. Category: English