Anne is six years older than me. Growing up, we were very poor, and my mother worked evenings at a factory in a small Midwestern town. Not seeing my mother much, Anne took over much of the maternal support, and she was awarded the authority to give me and my younger sister permission to do things. Actually, going to Anne was much better than going to a parent as she could award permission, but never had an urge to punish us when we broke the rules.

Therefore, we were a bit more willing to confess our activities to Anne and sometimes benefited from her sisterly advice. During those turbulent teenage years, Anne was always there for me, not only as a big sister, but as a mother and my best friend. When I was 17 and had no money, I thought my only chance of going to college was if I could win a scholarship. I had an important interview for such an award. Anne at that time was struggling, surviving on a part-time job as she put herself through the local community college after serving in the army.

I told her of my interview, that General Motors was sending me a bus ticket, and I would get to visit the city for my scholarship interview. It would be the first time I ever saw a city. I was excited about the adventure and asked her advice on what to wear. I showed her my best outfit and how I planned to be careful how I sat so that the hole in the bottom of my shoe would not be seen, but I wasn’t sure what I would do if it rained. —