Page 59 - Vol. VII #8
P. 59

 claring herself “a Burr” and Halsey constantly found The only topic that the Hulberts didn’t argue over was himself explaining what being “a Burr” meant to irate the Bates family. Like all of their neighbors, the townspeople. Hulburts loved to gossip about the giants. They
She say she was a bear? Like the animal? No, she said “a Burr.”
often recounted the story of how Martin Van Buren Bates showed up in Seville totally unannounced, just stepped off a train and began walking up Main Street until he stopped at old Mrs. Crawley’s boardinghouse and knocked on the door. Lord, old Mrs. Crawley was a toughminded woman who’d seen it all in her days of running a boardinghouse and her word was law and her law was All peaceable folk welcome and wouldn’t you know that she just opened the door and didn’t even jump or gawk or gasp or nothing, just opened the door and asked What brings you to town? as if an almost eight-foot tall stranger knocking on your door was perfectly normal! [The Hulburts would share
She mean a bear, like a burden? No, she meant a Burr like a Burr.
Like a bur that sticks to your pants? No, that’s not what she meant.
Why didn’t she just say “bramble” like everyone else around here? Because that’s not what she meant; she meant a Burr like a Burr.
a giggle at old Mrs. Crawley’s stoicism.] Old Mrs. Crawley wasn’t one to turn anyone away, especially if they showed up with a handful of diamonds, so she showed the giant to her best room with the biggest
Halsey Hulburt would then patiently explain that be- fore his wife became Flora Mae Hulburt, she had been Flora Mae Burr and she was proud of her ancestry.
You mean: Aaron Burr! Yup. bed and I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if that bed still wasn’t
The murderer? Yes, that’s the one.
The traitor? Don’t let her hear you say that, he was
too tiny and you remember what he did? He pushed it right up to an open window and hung his feet outside like they were a sign advertising a tavern. Well, old Mrs. Crowley could feel a draft a mile away, so when she discovered what was going on you remember what she did? She built a bonfire right under his feet just to keep his feet warm, that’s the kind of service diamonds’ll get you! [more giggling] And don’t forget about that party at Mrs. Kindig’s house when we were all dancing a gig, all laughing and twirling and clap- ping and having a gay old time, when CRACK! those two giants fell through the floor! [giggling turning into full blown guffawing] And remember old Mr. Kindig’s face when he looked down and saw them ly- ing down in his basement, laughing like mad together, surrounded by jars of [more guffawing] pickled on- ions! O Lord, the smell of that basement! Who in their right mind pickles onions?
Other than perhaps Benedict Arnold, what worse an- cestor could a person have? I know, I know, Halsey would agree, but that’s not how Flora Mae Hulburt (née Burr) saw it.
Aaron Burr got a bad rap, she would say. Everybody singing the praises of Alexander Hamilton, as if he was nothing more than a horny scoundrel who got himself shot. Got himself shot? Accidental homicide, that’s what it was. It was a duel; there was noth- ing accidental about it! Well, he was no better than Aaron Burr. He’s the only sitting Vice President to commit a murder while in office. So? He was never charged with a crime. And he’s the only sitting
Living next to the two largest people on earth was not easy, but over the years, Halsey and Martin Van Buren Bates forged a strong friendship; Halsey and his family enjoyed hearing the Bates’ tales of travelling the world as part of the circus, particularly the story about meeting Queen Victoria not once but twice, a story that always included the Bates’ showing off the two extra-large diamond-studded gold watches that the royal family had given them as wedding presents. These neighborly interactions always took place at the Bates’ farm, where Halsey’s children enjoyed climbing up into the gigantic guest chairs that the giants had built so that their guests would be able
Vice President to ever be tried for treason! Acquit- ted. That damn fool Thomas Jefferson was half the lawyer Aaron Burr was; he was just jealous. Thomas Jefferson was jealous... of Aaron Burr?! He was a lover. Aaron Burr?! More than Hamilton, more than Jefferson, Aaron Burr was a lover; the one thing people forget about Aaron Burr was that he died
of a broken heart: he died on the same day that his wife divorced him. No man deserves that. Except maybe Aaron Burr! He deserved everything he got. Brilliant men are too often misunderstood. (O, he’d heard that before!) It was pointless. A battle never to be won. Out of the room. Out of earshot. Arrrh... Blennerhassett Island!
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