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What do I know about Virginia? Not her birthday; not her favorite color. I know she loves the earth and growing things, Catholicism and KET. She can cook. She plays Vice City.

I know her friends call her Jinny, and she married John, and their children are Joan, John, James, Jeff, Jerry, Jeanne and Jay. Tenth of eleven, mother of seven. When she calls to one of them it’s a vocal slot machine.

My godmother, my grandmother: I don’t know how, through eighty years, she’s sustained her sense of wonder. I don’t know if, without hers, I’d have found my own.