The Valentine Secret.

Call Me Lou.

Sneaky and unpredictable were two words no one would ever have applied to my mother.

Edith Purvis was the consumate example of a ministers wife. She was very aware that she and her family were always under the wary eyes of the church and community. Since we always lived in small communities, everyone knew who the preachers kids were. She tried to keep us inside a set of guidelines for behavior.

One year when I was about 17 years old and a junior at Valley Falls High School, my mom had some photographs developed. When she got the pictures back, she found that one of them had been taken of me. The film had been badly developed and the entire picture had a green color to it. I looked like I was standing in front of a giant green light. I was making a sort of funny stunned look with…

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