Miss Myra Angelique Pettigrew was the closest the little town of Neely had to aristocracy. Beautiful and mysterious, she passed through life unmarried and grew more mysterious by the day. At the age of about 80 she climbed the water tower with her pet chimpanzee and casually jumped off.
Momma wore the same black dress she had seen Grandmomma Yount off in and the same little round hat with feathers and a half-veil and she carried with her a big shiny black pocketbook with gold clasps that had nothing in it but one of Daddy’s handkerchiefs. Daddy wore his lightweight navy suit and his reversible vest blue side out and Momma selected for him a striped burgundy tie that she said highlighted and enhanced the natural ﬂush in Daddy’s cheeks and accordingly Daddy selected for himself a pair of burgundy socks as a ﬁtting complement but Momma put them back into the drawer for him and brought out some navy ones instead. I wore my green suit, which was at the time my only suit, and my shortsleeve white shirt with the inkstain in the bottom of the pocket and my green speckled necktie along with my green socks that were not exactly the same color as each other and my black oxford shoes which I did not put on until right when I had to since they tended to lay my toes all together in a kind of bouquet. So I stood on my heels in the living room while Daddy went to the kitchen and passed his hand over all the burners and Momma crouched in front of the vanity mirror and pinned Rhode Island to her dressfront. Then we were out the door and down the steps to the sidewalk and Mr. and Mrs. Phillip J. King [next door neighbors], who had been waiting for us on their front porch, put her dog Itty Bit into the house and joined up with us as we went by.