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August 16, 2015: That Time My Mom and I Sang ‘In the Sweet By and By’ at the Cut-Across

The Cut-Across (south end of The Hogsback) | Jane Boursaw Photo
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After church every Sunday, my mom and I always take a little drive, get some lunch and just basically do whatever we want for a couple hours. Today we bought some lunch at Peninsula Market and were headed north back to her house when “In the Sweet By and By” came on the radio.

My mom is 90 years old at this writing, and her memory isn’t want it used to be. But she always knows all the words to old hymns and classic tunes from any musical. She knows all the words to “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from “Oklahoma” or “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair” from “South Pacific.” Stuff like that.

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So anyway, “In the Sweet By and By” comes on the radio, and she starts singing and I start singing. I pull into The Cut-Across (south end of The Hogsback) and we sat there singing, and it was just a very lovely Mayberry moment. If there’d been a porch nearby, Andy and Barney would have been on it singing old hymns in harmony.

And of course, The Cut-Across, which has remained basically the same for my entire life, is always beautiful with its massive trees and canopy effect, overlooking the valley that leads down Smokey Hollow Road.

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  1. During your Aunt June’s last time in church, she sang at the top of her lungs, stretching both arms heaven-ward. Lady next to her would never know she had been left side paralyzed from a stroke. Special. Forever. In. The. Sweet. By. And. By.


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