"Yes, Aunt Grace, -- and you too Grandma -- I know just what you're thinking.
You're both sitting there over-working yourselves pitying me. I'm tired of it.

    "No, don't interrupt me -- I know the reasons. I suppose the letters I wrote you
when I was filled with self-pity gave you good grounds for your pity. You might be
interested to know that I'm heartily sorry about those letters, too. I was only a dumb little
nit-wit then. Yes, and neither of you ever liked my Mother -- my Mother who 'lured your
poor, darling little brother' -- and son -- away from you -- out into the cold, dangerous

    "I suppose you shouldn't be blamed so much, though. The whole world seems to
be filled with people who think a child raised among gambling, bootlegging, divorce, and
such is the supreme object of ----."

    "But, Esther, you must realize that you really are at a great disadvantage -- you've
missed lots of things because of ----," cut in Aunt Grace, only to be interrupted by the
over-pitied Esther.

    "Yes, I know just what you're about to say: 'A Child raised in a home that is not
kept attractive and neat; in a home, a veritable gambling den; in a home fairly reeking of
bootleg-home-brew; in a home where there is no mutual love and understanding between
the mother and father, but rather the reverse (Sure, I knew you'd whence to have the word
'home' applied to such conditions -- I used to, too) -- such a child is ripe material for

    "And yet, you're but typical. Practically everyone thinks that a child raised in such
a 'far from ideal home' is greatly handicapped. I think ministers who waste our time in
chapel had far better, instead of preaching, 'Succeed because of advantages and in spite of
your disadvantages' preach 'Succeed because of the so-called disadvantages and in spite of
the so-called advantages.' "

    "But, my dear, you are an extraordinary child. No other would--", began
tight-lipped Grandmother.

    "Bah! I knew that was coming; but, why argue. You two will never understand
how thankful I am for those things that you are industriously pitying me for having had. If
you ask me, -- which you won't -- I think it'd be more to the point to start pitying Billy.
Yes, Aunt Grace, your son, and, Grandma, your grandson. He's more in need of your pity
cause he has those advantages you feel I lack."

Dorris Willows
English II 11
March 7, 1934

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