Playing Dress-Up

(above left to right) Godfrey and Mary Ann Collins as Pappy and Mammy Yokum, Ed and Joy Bell as Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae
(above left to right) Godfrey and Mary Ann Collins as Pappy and Mammy Yokum, Ed and Joy Bell as Li’l Abner and Daisy Mae

My folks actually had fun before we came along. This photo must have been taken some time in 1953. My parents, Li’l Abner and Daisy Mae, were in their courtin’ phase. Evidently my father wasn’t a follower of this comic strip. If he had done his research, he would have known that his role was to evade marriage with Daisy Mae at all costs. Well, at least not look that interested. But Mrs. Collins, on the other hand, is perfect for her part as Mammy Yokum:

Born Pansy Hunks, Mammy was the scrawny, highly principled “sassiety” leader and bare knuckle “champeen” of the town of Dogpatch. She married the inconsequential Pappy Yokum in 1902; they produced two strapping sons twice their own size. Mammy dominated the Yokum clan through the force of her personality, and dominated everyone else with her fearsome right uppercut (sometimes known as her “Goodnight, Irene” punch), which helped her uphold law, order and decency. She was consistently the toughest character throughout Li’l Abner. A superhuman dynamo, Mammy did all the household chores—and provided her charges with no fewer than eight meals a day of “po’k chops” and “tarnips” (as well as local Dogpatch delicacies—like “candied catfish eyeballs” and “trashbean soup”). Her authority was unquestioned, and her characteristic phrase, “Ah has spoken!” signaled the end of all further discussion. Her most famous phrase, however, was “Good is better than evil becuz it’s nicer.”

I understand that another photo exists with the quartet costumed as the chain gang. I need to see this to believe it. My customarily glamorous mother dressed in stripes? She never wore stripes.

One thought on “Playing Dress-Up”

  1. Your parents are hot!
    Love the photo.

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