Just had another read of the touchin’ note you sent about my sister Wilma goin’ down to glory, and figgered I’d best set the record strait a tad, since you never knowed her.

Don’t get me wrong. She was a dear sole and I loved her like a sister, ‘coz that’s what she was. But I gotta tell you she weren’t exacktly Mother Terresa.

Fifty years as the only teacher at P.S. #1 Dingwell’s Pond had set the milk of kindness off a little, and her bark had a real bite bytimes.

She only had but one serryous feller in her life. When he skipped out fer some English gal after the events of 39-45, she grew rite bitter about menfolk.

So it come as a real surprize when she took up with a young widdow lad of 73. But who knew poor Milty McCardle wud play front-and-scenter in her untimely chemise?

It happened like this. About four years back her and Milty took a noshun of a Sa’rday nite to take in an old-timey dance to sellabrate Wilma turnin’ 80 the day preevyous.

I ain’t much fer dancin’ at the best of times, and when I felt a touch of the gout comin’ on it seemed best to stay home and treat it with a taste of rubarb wine.

By all accounts it was a grand time altogether. The firehall was all gussyed up, with a midnite lunch layed out fit to feed an army. The menfolks was feelin’ no pain, havin’ snuck out evry half hour to admire the new pumper truck.

When the band struck up the final set, off they went. Couples to the middle, then a big dosey-do. Honner yer partner, honner yer corner and grand chain all.

Now Milty’s a pretty able lad, past six feet tall and 300 pounds, but powerful lite on his feet. Wilma was scarce as big as a minnit. Clocked in ’round 90 pounds, with a dickshunary in one pocket and a smoothin’ iron in the other.

So when it come time to swing yer partners, the odds was clearly with Milty. Way I hear it, he swang her like a top, round and round, fast and faster, the both of ’em laffin’ like skool kids.

Now maybe she bust a heal or somethink, or maybe his hands was slippy, but next anyone recalls, Wilma had lit thru the air like a flock of hens.

She musta flew 30 feet afore she hit the lunch table. Slid acrosst it like she was slathered in chicken fat. Past the sliced ham and diced beets, rite on thru the coldslaw and the 9-bean salad, till she come to a sudden stop.

Face first in the punch bowl. The one fer grownups.

You can imajin how broke up poor Milty felt. But like I told him at the wake, she went with a smile.

That’s life, I reckon. Kickin’ up yer heals one minnit. Turnin’ up yer toes the next.

Yer pal,