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Who Put the Pickle in the Fruit Salad

Who Put the Pickle in the Fruit Salad

by Salley K. Fuller

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This book is a mystery of sorts; a collection of poems and southern, dysfunctional family and friends’ recipes and is dedicated to Brittany and Ashley, the first of the fourth generation, who have the challenging opportunity to make the Foust blood-lineage a real family at long last … but only if they do it together. They are our last hope.



This book is a mystery of sorts; a collection of poems and southern, dysfunctional family and friends’ recipes and is dedicated to Brittany and Ashley, the first of the fourth generation, who have the challenging opportunity to make the Foust blood-lineage a real family at long last … but only if they do it together. They are our last hope.

Here is an excerpt:


I hated Sunday mornings, except for the three months of Summer during each of my first eleven years. Hastily, the occupants of the house moved in and out of rooms readying for the trip to hear Brother Lee, the ancient spokesman, deliver his sermon: The gospel according to the Missionary Baptist Church.

The tyranny of the morning was exceeded only by the minefield of the afternoon. The sense of urgency existed because salvation was mandated by Uncle Walter, Daddy's brother. Even in the midst of the spiritual feeding frenzy, my Mother, odd-shaped and insecure, was consumed by one of the seven sins ... jealousy. To her way of thinking, her justification was about twenty years old and the younger sister of Daddy's best friend. Yes, Sister Darlene made diligent efforts to provide Mother with a version of hell on earth.

Poor Mother, she gave birth to the seven deadly sins....us; I was the oldest of four boys and three girls. Each of us as different as night and day, yet the same. I wished, for my Mother, a period of self-indulgence instead of concern for over-due bills and insatiable demands from seemingly uncaring off spring, and an ill-tempered spouse. I remember in particular (as a 16 year old with non-existent expertise in anything but attitude) behaving badly at the reluctant announcement of yet another baby to swell the throng. That baby was the last sister. I wasn't privy to the moment when Daddy was notified. However, his reaction could have been any one of the numerous nocturnal eruptions that exploded regularly. Certainly, he had played no role in this revolting development. Now, unlike then, I can actually smile at the recollection of Daddy, jaw in hand, exclaiming in agony that his "toothache hurt worse than any labor pain a woman could have". Oh, if only! Anyway, the quality of his silence could be likened to that of a gun dog pointing at a bird. Or the cliché calm before the storm. A series of storms that continued for over a quarter century.

My Mother's characteristics were inherited from her gentle parents. Death spared her years of unhappiness. She died young, in her sleep, next to Daddy.

Daddy died old; so old there was nothing left for him to do but reminisce; knowing all memories were beyond salvation.

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Fideli Publishing
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Meet the Author

Salley K. Fuller, born in South Carolina during World War II; she’s a Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, and friend, and by most standards not very good at any of it for the first 25 years of her life. She states, “While growing up I felt just like a lot of kids…I’m nothing special. What I wanted more than anything in the world was to be somebody to be remembered…for good or bad made no difference. Sliding sideways was a family tradition. Skirting at least one issue per day….the motto. Early on, laughter and food (not always in that order) were used for medicinal purposes. I became a nearly-overnight success at bad judgement and poor choices….(there’s just something about a guy on parole!). There are thousands of us out there….with no self-help groups, looking normal! The great healing began about age 37, and still continues today. Truly, we are who we are because of where we’ve had to be. Though I had hoped for a full recovery, I realize that life is a do-it-yourself project, it’s tough and no one’s going to make it out alive. God promised me a safe landing, not a calm passage, I am not alone. You’re out there.” She enjoys reading, writing… but not ‘rithmetic; loves her family, friends, her cats, playing golf… and an occasional trip to Las Vegas. She was born in Greenville, SC during the Second World War under an assumed name. She bought her real name many years later. She is the oldest of 7 children, 5 of whom were reluctantly transplanted to California in 1956; the final 2 siblings were California natives, one is since deceased. She graduated high school, attended community college sporadically until her first marriage; a marriage which yielded her only child, Steven, born in 1964. 2 years thereafter, she began a modeling career that would eventually lead to instructing in the field and a partnership in a modeling guild. After a successful decade, the fork in the road led to a career in real estate, as a licensed agent. Vanity prevailed, however briefly, in 1976 when Salley was crowned Miss Riverside International Raceway. Her reign of one short year had been ignited by a dare from a co-worker but was fueled by the fact that Steven, then 13, would get into the races at no charge… being the son of the Queen and all. Her interests took a sudden turn toward health as she entered her 2nd marriage, learned to play golf, and returned to college to earn her degree in Nutritional Science from Pasadena, Ca. For 8 years she consulted for local physicians who referred patients for nutritional counseling and stress management, most of whom were terminally ill. She was a featured motivational speaker for many organizations during this period. She also attended University of California extension courses for Mentor/Trainer and has maintained a membership in the local Mentor Collaborative. Still uneasiness persisted. She re-entered the real estate market; enjoying much success until the market collapse in 1993. It was time for a real job with real benefits. Salley was hired by a local county agency, where she promoted quickly to her current status as a district supervisor. Her final marriage occurred around that time also, lasting just slightly less time than the predecessors. It was apparent she would never celebrate a silver wedding anniversary, even cumulatively, so she decided to write about the stuff of her life…that happened while she was making plans. It began with a short poem; then more came, then prose, then comfort-food recipes. Single poems were published in Best Poems of the 90s, A Celebration of Poets, and Spirit of the Age, she earned 2 Editor’s Choice Awards in 1996, also. Her book of story-poems and recipes, Who Put the Pickle in the Fruit Salad? was first published in 2001. She is a member of The Academy of American Poets and is currently writing a novel, which is about a year away from completion… unless she marries again.

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