Freddy the Road Man, and the 7 Layer Chocolate Cake

My Granny was one of those traditional sorts of grand southern ladies, a real steel magnolia.  She didn't drink, she didn't cuss, she tried to feed everyone she'd ever met, and she never had an unkind word to say about anybody.  She was funny and hardworking, and friendly as all get out.

Never once in her life did she ever meet a stranger.  By the time I was a kid she pretty much insisted everyone call her "Granny Bass," whether or not that made sense age-wise or social status-wise.

She loved to bake, and was locally famous for her seven layer chocolate cake.  Yes, I really did mean seven layers.  That cake took a full day to make and ice, but anytime we made that cake, it was a good time.  That cake was a beast, but she made it at every opportunity.

Easter?  Seven Layer Chocolate Cake.
Christmas?  Seven Layer Chocolate Cake.
Thanksgiving?  Seven Layer Chocolate Cake.
Freddy, the Road Man's birthday?  Seven Layer Chocolate Cake.

Now Freddy the Road Man, was just that, a guy my grandparents met while he was working construction on the highway in front of our house.  Poppa wheeled and dealed with him in order to buy some (potentially sketchy) gravel for our driveway.  Somehow in the wheeling and dealing, it became known to Granny that the day Freddy was going to deliver the gravel was his birthday.

Now, Granny was the sort of lady who couldn't let a birthday pass un-celebrated.  That would have been unacceptable to her.  So the day Freddy the Road Man shows up to deliver this gravel, he is completely surprised to be greeted by my Granny bearing this epic seven layer birthday cake.

If that was the end of the story, it would still be a good story- that time Granny baked a stranger birthday cake....

But that isn't the end of the story.

Every year after that, on Freddy the Road Man's birthday, me and Granny would bake seven layer chocolate cake and deliver it to him.

Every year.

For years.

Up until the year she got sick.

She made seven layer birthday cake every year for YEARS for a virtual stranger, because she liked people and she liked birthdays and she liked cake.

Lately, Freddy the Road Man and his birthday cake have been on my mind.

Maybe this time of year is when his birthday falls?

Maybe it's living in Granny's house?
Maybe as I get older it's easier to recognize why Granny made cake for a stranger year after year?

Maybe we could all use a little more cake?


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