Remembering the fun and antics of coming of age in 1950s Oxford

by

Published: May 20,2012

Tags: Katherine King, Margaret King, Oxford, William Faulkner

Y’all Twins? By Katherine and Margaret King, Deeds Publishing, $19.95 paperback

If you don’t smile at the title of this book, you haven’t been in Mississippi long or you have absolutely no interest in speech patterns. I can just imagine some good ole boy looking at these two girls, who look exactly alike and are dressed exactly alike, taking a second look and asking (rhetorically), “Y’all twins?” They are, and they’ve written a delightful book about their high jinks as identical twins growing up in Oxford in the wonderful 1950s. Those were the days when kids could roam around small Southern towns without fear.

“It’s everything twins can get away with because they can, and we did. We did our whole lives,” Kat said when summarizing the book. “I think anybody who grew up in the ‘50s, young people who want to know what growing up in the ‘50s was like, Faulkner lovers and Southerners in general will enjoy this book.”

The book follows the twins’ antics from age six to 12. From hitching rides on the back of William Faulkner’s horse-drawn wagon to poking out the glass eye of an elderly woman’s fox stole in a church service out of pure curiosity.

Their main form of mischief was switching places when necessary to always put the best twin forward in any given situation. “We switched classes the first day of first grade, and we never looked back,” said Margaret. “We’re kind of Lucy and Ethel. She’s Lucy, and I’m Ethel. Whatever she gets into, we have to figure out how to get out of it.”

From an early age, Kat emerged as the fearless tomboy, finding it difficult to follow what she considered needless rules. She scared away bullies, excelled in sports and found it nearly impossible to deal with the necessary evils of becoming a lady in the 1950s. Margaret, the less impulsive and more level headed of the twins, surfaces as the feminine, studious, voice-of-reason twin who delights in playing dress up and dolls. They learned to use their distinct personality differences and their identical physical features to their fullest advantage.

Kat is now a mathematics instructor at the Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center of Northwest Mississippi Community College and Margaret is a retired government employee and part time employee at Oxford-University Bank. They have a second book scheduled for release this winter and are working on a series of children’s books that will release next year.

 

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