Alonzo Weston

I already knew my mom was a queen before she was dubbed second runner-up in the Ms. Nursing Home Queen of District 2.

District 2 covers an 18-county area in Northwest Missouri. To be second runner-up in that wide a swatch means a lot.

The people at Diversicare Riverside, as well as myself, feel she should have been the queen.

Mom has that type of personality that attracts people to her. As a store cashier for several years, people would stand in her line just to have her wait on them. It never mattered how long the line was either, and another line could be open but customers would wait. They’d wait to hear mom’s lilting, almost sing-song voice greet them and ask how they were doing.

For that my mom is as well known as I am. People I’ve never met walk up to me in public places and ask how she’s doing.

They all say I have a sweet mother. And I do. But as a sometimes mischievous kid growing up I said that sweetness flare up into anger. It wasn’t pretty and was often accentuated with a strap or a “switch.”

A “switch,” to the crowd who grew up with time outs and other gentle forms of discipline, is a green, reedy, young limb off a bush or tree. When you’re switched with it it stings like the dickens on bare legs in short pants. The bad part of it was you had to cut your own switch.

Mom never used the strap or the belt often, but when she did I deserved it. As a single mother for a time she did her best to raise her only son.

I remember once as a teenager I snuck out of the house at night to go hang out with my friends. I had a car then but decided to walk so as not to arouse suspicion. I wasn’t on the corner with my friends a good 15 minutes until I saw my car, a white with black 1962 Chevy Impala, coming down the street with my mom at the wheel.

“Boy, get in this car,” she said.

In front of my friends that served as enough punishment.

From the queen pageant biography I learned things about my mother I never knew.

For example, I knew she was born on March 5 but I never knew it was a windy day and family and friends said it was a wind that hadn’t stopped blowing since. My mom always speaks her mind even if it’s in a kindly, diplomatic manner — unless she’s really mad, which is rare.

I also learned that my mom as a young girl tried to put a piece of thread as a leash on a grasshopper. Mom was a tomboy, which I never knew because she always liked dressing up, as she still does today.

My mom was a single teenage mother who had me when she was 16 years old. With a good heart and strong discipline, I feel she did a good job raising me.

I love you mom, always. You’re always my queen.

Alonzo Weston can be reached at alonzo.weston@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWeston.