Johnny was the favorite, although (or because) he could be so bad. He was wild and handsome and had a laugh that could be heard three counties over. He married Doris – quiet, sweet Doris, daughter of a preacher – and no one could figure out how that happened.
He brought her home to meet Opal, who took one look at the pale, thin girl before her and exclaimed, “Son, don’t marry that girl! She ain’t nuthin’ but a doctor bill,” which of course made him more determined to marry her. Opal saw that and proceeded to feed Doris ham biscuits on a regular basis to fatten her up a little bit.
Darcy’s children couldn’t believe their crazy uncle had got himself such a beautiful girlfriend and stared at her silently to try and figure it out. Darcy smiled, knowing her baby brother could charm the socks off a snake.
It may have come about shortly after Johnny took Doris out riding in his convertible. He picked her up at school, but didn’t drive her straight home like she expected. It was past suppertime when he finally brought her back. Her mama took one look at Doris and asked, “What happened to your neck, girl?”
“Johnny bit me,” Doris giggled.
The Reverend went outside and Doris and her mama heard his car start up. “Uh-oh,” said Doris. Her mama nodded.
For a while, Doris and Johnny lived with Opal. There wasn’t much room, but there wasn’t much choice. Johnny worked hard – he could when he really wanted to – and Doris saved and they were able to buy a house. Darcy’s children had never seen anything like it: it was a house on wheels that came down the road. Johnny heard the truck coming and ran outside whooping and hollering like he’d just scalped somebody. He ran up right behind the house on wheels, jumped up on it as it was climbing the little hill by Opal’s driveway, clambered up on top and rode it like a surfboard to its final destination just past Opal’s house. The truck driver swore at Johnny as he unhitched the house and drove away shaking his head. Doris let all of the little ones pile into the back of the convertible and drove them up to see the new house.