Cabbagetown by Hugh Garner:
In the streetcar Mrs. Plummer rambled on about everything and everybody in Cabbagetown. She told Myrla that she’d heard Ken Tilling was out West working on the harvest and that his mother was drinking now more than ever. She knew the whys and wherefores of every bit of scandal.
Myrla pretended to listen, but instead was thinking how lucky she’d been to meet Mrs. Plummer as she had. The Mrs. Plummers of the world were poor and ignorant, loud-voiced and gossipy, ill-mannered and ill-dressed, but there was probably a special corner of heaven for women like them. The Mrs. Plummers were almost everyting they said a woman shouldn’t be, but they were really the salt of the earth.