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The Farnsworths

Eileen Farnsworth (1909–2011)
Our next-door neighbors on Summit Avenue in Sioux Falls were the Farnsworths, we at 1503, they at 1501. A few years ago I was at my high-school reunion and went to an event celebrating the oldest graduates, because I'd heard my old journalism teacher, Miss Norman, was going to be there. She wasn't, but Mrs. Farnsworth (adults didn't have first names then) was.

I went over to introduce myself, & she remembered not just me ("the one in New York") but lots more about my family. She was so alive and so gorgeously beautiful, and I am grateful to have spent a little time with her, especially as she passed away not much later (at the age of 102). I've since been in touch with her daughter Bonnie, who was my babysitter at some point in the wayback machine.

Today I found this little poem I wrote in I think 1983:

February 11

Bonnie Farnsworth lay on the summer lawn
looked up at the stars
felt the curve & certitude
& told me
what to expect in 6th grade

Dang, I wish I remembered what she told me, & if it came to pass. I'm sure it did—she was a Big Kid, & knew everything.
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