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In the Season of Giving: A Trait to Cherish

By Jennifer Whitcomb

My mom, Priscilla, was a highly sought-after commodity in the prime of her single years. It was 1959. She had a nice Italian boyfriend who wanted to marry her. Her father strongly disapproved. Her high school sweetheart was an enlisted man, with no college education. He would ask for her hand regularly; every leave provided an opportunity to get down on one knee. Her Aunt was convinced that a man in the navy wasn’t good enough for a Simmons girl, and wrote my mother letters offering bribe money so that she would not marry beneath herself. There was a third suitor, engaged to be married to someone else, who showed up on her doorstep about this time, and begged her to marry him; he’d gladly leave his fiancée if she would but consent.

I know there were more. Priscilla’s mother passed away during her senior year in High School. It was a stressful time in her young life. So stressful, in fact, that she cut bait and reeled it in. She changed her name to Kim and moved to Connecticut to waitress for a summer.

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