Saffron Cross Bonus Material: Gangster Gail
For years, my Aunt Gail has taken her sisters on a yearly trip to Charleston the first week in December. When my eldest Aunt Ann was too frail to go, Aunt Gail began inviting her younger sister, my mother Judy. Last year, I got invited to attend this sacred sisterly trip. But, I knew my place: they needed someone to carry the bags!
In celebration of these strong Trent women, I hope you enjoy this little “Aunt Gangster Gail” vignette from Saffron Cross cutting room floor. The most difficult thing about editing a book is the page limit. This story didn’t make the final edition—but I love it—and the upside is that I get to share it with you as bonus material!
And if you haven’t picked up your copy of Saffron Cross yet, do it today! If you’ve already read Saffron Cross and you enjoyed it–we hope you’ll do two things: 1) write a short review on Amazon, and 2) gift your friends with a copy this Christmas!
Gangster Gail (Bonus Material from the Vegetarian Chapter of Saffron Cross)
My Aunt Gail is two years older than my mother and comes to visit each May for one week. For seven days, she and I bargain hunt, giggle, and indulge in greasy meals.
Fred lovingly refers to Aunt Gail as “Gangster Gail” because within the first five minutes of their meeting in Chapel Hill, she offered him sly advice on the Tobacco Road rivalry.
She whispered, “You have to be careful in this town. If someone hears you are a Duke fan, they’ll slit your throat.” She quickly sliced her hand across her neck for dramatic effect.
Then I told Fred about the time she nearly stabbed a NYC cabby in the neck with a metal nail file when he took her on an unfamiliar route back to her hotel. Fred was convinced she was a gangster, even before she told him about her affinity for The Sopranos and the Godfather trilogy.
I should have known that my new vegetarian diet would be a point of contention with Gangster Gail, especially when I took her to Five Guys for lunch.
When I ordered the only vegetarian option, Aunt Gangster Gail crossed her arms and planted her feet in front of the register, unwavering.
“I will not have my niece order a bun with only lettuce and cheese! Nope. It ain’t gonna happen!”
Vegetarian, schmegetarian. Gangster Gail wasn’t going to allow her baby girl to eat a rabbit lunch, and that was that. She had forgotten I also ordered a huge paper bag of crispy fries, my favorite meatless splurge since my forty-day excursion with Jesus.
But I could not argue with a woman whom I knew studied the Mafiosa moves of Tony Soprano.
So I had a juicy cheeseburger and a pound of fries under the watchful eye of Gangster Gail, who was pleased with supplying her niece with a week’s worth of protein and fat in one sitting.
Enjoyed this vignette? Pick up your copy of Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk just released from Fresh Air Books (an imprint of Upper Room Books).