Bulletin: Threescore and ten years ago . . .

. . . my mother brought forth, upon this continent, a new four-pound-eight-ounce preemie: me. I arrived kicking and screaming, and pretty much haven’t stopped since. To shut me up, they popped me into an incubator and didn’t let me out for a month. My mildly deformed feet prompted the doctor to warn my family to keep their expectations low. “She may never walk,” he said.

And I didn’t, for about two years. I didn’t have to. I soon learned that all I had to do was sit in the middle of the floor and cry, and I’d magically get whatever I wanted. Apparently, my brain worked just fine.

Mom finally figured out my con game, though, and after that I cleaned up my act—except for one persistent bad habit. Any time someone said I couldn’t do something, I went out of my way to do it, just to be contrary. That got me into some interesting predicaments in the decades that followed. What a stubborn little stinker! Don’t let that angelic face at the top of this blog post fool you.

Amazingly, I’ve survived seventy years, and I’m feeling pretty good, in spite of myself.

Portrait taken in spring, 1956.

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