WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN
Annie, the very first time I met the man who is your Granddad Hudgens, he walked
into my house just hours before the rehearsal for your parents' wedding. He had
theaudacity to announce that if this marriage was to succeed, we, the Burleighs, had to
give up the Saints and support the Rams! I couldn't believe my ears. In that case your
parents' marriage was going to be in trouble. Give up the Saints? How could we? No
It wasn't news to us that Ray and his family were Rams fans. Elaine and I had decided
that while that was a character flaw, it was one that we were prepared to tolerate.
There was, however, no room for compromise.We are Louisianians. We are Saints'
fans.We were prepared to let the Hudgens know our loyalty in no uncertain terms.
Just you wait, William Hudgens, for the wedding rehearsal . . .
That's where we are now, Annie, at the church, for the rehearsal. It is time to begin.
We are all in our places. It is time for Elaine to walk down the aisle to join Ray. The
organist plays the grand march. It is not Mendelssohn. Instead, it is "When the Saints
Go Marching In." Elaine is radiant, all smiles, and repressed giggles. Ray can't believe
what he is getting into. He loves the lady who will become your Mother. He decides to
go through with this wedding anyway.
The Ray Hudgens return from their honeymoon and start housekeeping, There are just
the three of them: Ray, Elaine, and Sally who is Elaine's cat. Ray teaches Sally to talk.
She can say yes and no. Ray waves a kitty treat horizontally in front of Sally and asks
her if she likes the Saints. Sally shakes her head, "No." Then Ray asks Sally if she is a
Rams' fan. Sally shakes her head "Yes" because Ray is waving the kitty treat vertically
in front of Sally. Traitor.
Time has passed, Annie. It is now 1998. You have joined the family. It is time for your
baptism. Aunt Melinda, Uncle Hamilton and Grandmommy have come for this special
occasion. Your Mother has carefully planned the service. We will all sit together in the
same pew. When it is time for your Baptism your Dad will carry you to the altar. We will
follow. The hymn that your Mother has selected is "When the Saints Go Marching In."