"Ma'am, I will have to kindly ask you to please put some shoes on your feet." Mrs. Stella Jean Hunsucker (that would be Peasy Lou Hunsucker's grandmother; you know Peasy Lou, of course), was clearly annoyed at the young woman in the jewelled headdress who had just that very moment walked into her dry-goods store.
The young woman was definitely not from Putnam County - in fact, her type had never been seen before nor has it been seen since in these parts. I suppose there was the time that we had tour through our placid acres that vile and most wretched Mr. Havercroft, the ironmonger, but he was not the least bit captivating - only maddening. No, the young barefoot lady was in a league of her own, as it were.
Mrs. Hunsucker might not have forgiven nor forgotten the rather unexpectedly discalced maiden in her dry-goods store, but the entire county will perhaps never forget the wonderfully-choreographed performance that she gave for a special public meeting of the ladies of the Eastern Star, wherein the maiden presented an interpretation of Egyptian mythology through the medium of dance and Miss Vidalia Sue Hornbeam (later Mrs. Vidalia Sue Grabbethorn - you know, Elsa Mae Grabbethorn's mother) served the finest sweet tea and cornbread that had ever been offered at the Eastern Star. My, it was the evening, to be sure.
All the county look fondly on the sweetness of that memory - all the county and their pleasant, dying memory of so many years ago...save for the bitter acid in the mouth of Vidalia Sue. For while the barefoot maiden danced and stole the hearts of so many who watched with wonderment at the meeting of the Eastern Star, she also stole the heart of Gerald Pickering, to whom Vidalia Sue was betrothed. She danced into Putnam County, danced into his heart, and danced him away...back up north somewhere, some said to New Jersey. She was rebounding at the time from a failed marriage and had never been a bird to be tamed, anyway - leastways by that starry-eyed son of a pea-picker, Gerald Pickering. He was never to return to Putnam County and within the season his broken life and his broken heart were washed up...washed up like broken bottles on the Jersey shore and Vidalia Sue (though crushed) went on with her life.
You would wonder if either Elsa Mae or Peasy Lou will be at the special presentation at the Eastern Star on the 21st of next month, wouldn't you? We will have to wait and see.