They say laughter is the best medicine. If that’s, true then there are a lot of folks in the Delta who are getting healthier.
She is Lisa Bush from Leland. But she is also Sister Lucille. And they are about as polar opposites as you can get.
Lisa Bush’s family business is just across the street from the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland, Bush Funeral Services.
Lisa was talked into the funeral business by her father who had been a mortician for years. Reluctant at first, she loves it now.
However, it is incumbent for funeral directors to carry on with a degree of propriety and dignity. And after a while of that Lisa discovered she needed a release. So at church one night she said something funny to a lady in the praise team singing beside her and the lady told her,
"Girl, you need to be a comedian," said Bush.
It didn’t register at first, but when it did, Sister Lucille was born.
"Come on Give God some praise! Because you know he is good! Ain’t he?" said Sister Lucille. "Yes Lord, he just got me out of jail."
As Sister Lucille, Lisa is a combination of Reverend Ike and Don Rickles, a wise-cracking improv comedian who brings it all around to make a point. No one is safe in the crowd.
"Girl you got some GOLD in yo mouth, ain’t ya? said Sister Lucille.
She's popular in churches but shows up at parties and other functions.
"Do this, do this," said Sister Lucille.
Lisa says her alter ego is literally a Godsend for her.
"I had to do that just for my personal well being and sanity," said Lisa.
"You know Jesus loves everybody. He loves preachers and teachers. He loves ugly folks," said Sister Lucille.
And in an odd way, God seems to be loving the people of the Delta in particular through the gift Lisa Bush discovered hiding inside her.
Sister Lucille comes out for a visit now and again. But laughter being great medicine, Sister Lucille may be being counter productive to Lisa’s everyday business. Well, life is full of contradictions.
I think we’d all be better off if we let out inner Sister Lucille come out and play more often. Sister Lucille and Lisa Frye Bush both have Facebook pages.