Saturday, July 13, 2013

First Paragraph

His mother called him Alva. To his friends he was Al. His sister nicknamed him Rinkey. He was frail and prone to respiratory infections. His body was so spindly that when he was twelve years old he exclaimed: "Ma, I'm a bushel of wheat. I weight (sic) just sixty pounds." His neck scarcely seemed able to support his outsized, triangular-shaped head with its broad brow. His mouth, like his mother's, had an odd downturn at the corners. When he was born, on February 11, 1847, the last of seven children, his mother was haunted by death: six-year-old Carlisle had died in 1842, three-year-old Samuel in 1843, and three-year-old Eliza was to be buried before the end of the year.

- From A Streak of Luck by Robert Conot

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