As a girl, she had a horse named Tommy -- a big, flea-bit gray -- and a smart dog named Toasty. She broke a wrist doing some rodeo-style trick-riding on Tommy once -- an injury that happened quickly and faded nearly from memory, except as a lesson to pass along about youthful foolishness with horses.
She loved her boy-cousins, loved visiting her grandparents at the farm in Springfield, loved a book called The Swish of the Curtain.
Although I never knew any of these things first-hand, her memories are vivid for me: her embarrassment at how her slip shows in her 8th-grade school portrait, her wonderment at first putting on a pair of eye-glasses, the pleasure she felt in having a shiny copper penny tucked into each of her penny-loafers.
The sacred roster of good dancers from high school, the horsey adventures with best-friend Sue, the thrill of getting her own first apartment and a sports-car -- I inherited these adventures from my mother. Like the bone-structure and the need for glasses. As well as this wordy impulse to turn incidents into epic.
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