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Fried Green Tomatoes

Friday, July 10, 2020

Fried Green Tomatoes came whistling in on train tracks into theaters in 1991. In the 80’s, Evelyn met Ninny @ a nursing home. Evelyn was a Southern’80’s woman. She’s taken class after class, trying to get her husband’s attention. Nothing works. She’s basically a wimp. Ninny was living in the nursing home (a friend of hers was there & Ninny was keeping her company.) Ninny tells Evelyn stories about Ruth, Idgie, & the folks in Alabama & The Whistle Stop Cafe in the depression era. She fascinated by Ninny’s stories. Evelyn originally met Ninny while visiting her husband’s demented aunt - who hated Evelyn. She eventually starts going just to see Ninny.

top: Ruth & Idgie; bottom Evelyn & Ninny

In the very first story, the multitude of family & friends gathered for Idgie’s sister. Afterward, Idgie’s brother, Buddy, was engaged to Ruth. He was killed by a train when his shoe was stuck in the tracks of an oncoming train. After that, Idgie was a hell-raising tomboy, playing poker, drinking in the local gin joint, etc. She was also a “bee charmer”. She could walk slowly up to a honeybee nest, fill up a jar & walk away without getting strong. Ruth was a Southern lady, trying to follow rules.She basically forced Idgie to become friends. Ruth got married an abusive man, Frank. Ruth was pregnant, & escaped from the Georgia home with the help of Idgie & her gang. They brought her back to AL. Frank saw them moving her stuff out of the house - Idgie threatened to kill him if he came after Ruth. Idgie & Ruth open the Whistle Stop Cafe. Big George, “a colored man”, makes the the BBQ meats for the cafe. Frank stalks Ruth & the baby. One night, he tried to steal Buddy, Jr away. Stuff happens & Frank disappears ...

Fanny Flagg wrote the book the movie is based on

Back to the 80’s. Evelyn has a mini-breakdown in front of Idgie. Tells her to get some hormones. Evelyn comes into her own. Some rude teens steal the parking spot she was waiting for - “Face it lady, we’re younger & faster!” & sashay off. Evelyn thinks a minute, puts her car in drive & whams their little red car, 6 times, yelling “Towanda!” (She’d learned that Idgie used to yell it). The teens run out, Evelyn says “Face it girls, I’m older & have more insurance!” Drives off. She shared this with Ninny. “How many of them hormones did you take?” Ninny worriedly asks.

Back to the Whistle Stop Cafe. A GA police officer had come to AL, looking for the missing Frank. He really enjoyed the BBQ, best he ever ate, but is still determined to find out if & who killed him. Five years pass. Frank’s old car is dragged out of the river. Big George & Idgie are taken to GA court. Looks bad - that cop really wanted one of them in prison or dead. The AL preacher testifies that Big George & Idgie were @ a revival & couldn’t have done anything. Judge says Frank probably got drunk & drove into the river. Case dismissed! (The preacher swore on his bible, but it was really Moby Dick). Buddy, Jr got hit by a train & lost an arm. Ruth died of cancer.

Evelyn has renovated the house, started working out, looks 100% better & happier. Her husband is finally taking notice of her. Evelyn goes back to the nursing home to bring Ninny with her. Hubby is not happy, but Ev is determined. Idgie’s house had been torn down while she was staying with her friend @ the nursing home. Not knowing that, Ninny went home, her her home is gone! Evelyn goes after her. Ninny shares the last of the story - it wasn’t Big George or Idgie did it. It was Mr. Smokey, an alcoholic drifter the gals looked after & Sipsey, Big George’s wife (& the cafe cook). Mr. Smokey slowed him down, Sipsey whacked him with her frying pan. Big George & Idgie got rid of the body. Ever hear of “long pork”? Look it up ... Back to the 80’s, Ninny says Idgie is still around, & maybe they’ll see her. A fresh jar of honey is @ Ruth’s gravestone. They leave together.

I’ll Remember You, theme for the movie

Idgie, the bee charmer

I'll remember you
When I've forgotten all the rest
You to me were true
You to me were the best

Mr. Smokey & Big George

When there is no more
You cut to the core
Quicker than anyone I knew
When I'm all alone
In the great unknown
I'll remember you.

I'll remember you
At the end of the trail
I had so much left to do
I had so little time to fail

There's some people that
You don't forget
Even though you've only seen'm
One time or two
When the roses fade
And I'm in the shade
I'll remember you.

Didn't I, didn't I try to love you ?
Didn't I, didn't I try to care ?
Didn't I sleep, didn't I weep beside you
With the rain blowing in your hair.

I'll remember you
When the wind blows through the piney wood
It was you who came right through
It was you who understood

Though I'd never say
That I learned it the way
That you'd have liked me to
In the end
My dear sweet friend
I'll remember you.

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