Felicity has her second baby, a girl. She gets to enjoy her girls until they are one-and-a-half and three. On a snowy day in 1973 she drives into the back of a parked truck and dies. She has her seat belt on but she still dies. She had everything she always wanted but she loses it. How is this fair? As soon as he can function, Dean raises the girls himself. He does this for eight years. Then he marries a divorced hairdresser with two boys of her own. She becomes like another sister and we don’t lose Felicity’s kids.
Tyler and Sara are still being moved all over the eastern U.S. They move to New Jersey when the boys are in high school. When they have to leave New Jersey the twins stay behind. They earn degrees at Rutgers and get married to New Jersey girls. Their weddings are one month apart. They each have three children, two boys and a girl. Tyler has the most financial success of anyone in the family.
Gertie and Jason have two boys. After fourteen years of marriage Jason has an affair so blatant that Gertie cannot ignore it. She has to leave him. Jason turns mean. Gertie has a really bad five years and then she remarries. Both her sons marry. One has two girls. The other has one child out of wedlock, he marries a woman with two girls and then they have twin girls.
Robert marries Ellen. They also have to travel around. He is in the shoe business. They have a son and twin daughters, who are beautiful, but bald for the first two years of their lives. Their son is married and has two children, one boy and one girl. One of the twins is married, no children yet.
Emily marries twice. Both marriages end badly. She lives in the South for quite a while. Rebecca lives with her for a while. She has two daughters by her second husband. She’s an accountant. She eventually moves back to Smithvale. One of her daughters is married, no children.
Rebecca never marries but she is the family link. Everyone in the family likes her and relies on her. She lives with Augusta who is 89 and doing fine. Hobart died of prostate cancer at 81. She has 13 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren so far. Rebecca is also the family historian and a computer whiz.
Morgan marries a guy who fixes jets. She is a mail carrier. They live by a river and have two daughters. Morgan keeps her feistiness and her sense of humor. We hold all our family parties at her house.
Annie is my friend for forty years. She finally met the man of her dreams and after a lengthy courtship they marry. They have two children, a son and a daughter. I am privileged to watch them grow up over summers when they visit from Florida. Annie teaches elementary school.
Me, Zoe, I am lucky and unlucky. One month after my first arrest by the city police, the county police come to my school to arrest me again. The school secretary warns me. I turn myself in and only have to stay three hours. I don’t get fired. Thank goodness it’s an “alternative” school. After two court-appointed lawyers and after I call the DA a hypocrite (I do know how to sabotage myself), I am convicted through a plea bargain of a felony for possession of a controlled substance. I am sentenced to two years probation and two years of psychotherapy. I should have fought harder but I cannot bring myself to borrow any more money from anyone. The psychotherapy is good. I obviously need it. I teach at the same school for 23 more years. I become an assistant professor, and a department chair. I get a master’s degree. I feel I do a good job as a teacher. I get to send hundreds of students to college or help them get a GED. When I leave there I can’t get another teaching job. Even with a “Relief from Disability” signed by a judge. The climate has changed. Public school parents won’t have this and I don’t blame them. I take an architecture course and they tell me that a felony conviction will prevent me from being a licensed architect. I retire early. I work temp jobs. I’m a cashier. I will be a felon all my life. It’s OK. I was perhaps way luckier than I deserved to be.
I have quit smoking three times, but as I write these words I continue to puff away. The cosmic roulette wheel doesn’t let you get away with these things forever.
Lena and Linda hire a $5000 attorney and are convicted of misdemeanors. I don’t see them again.
Luke dies too young, although not as young as Felicity. I don’t know about it until after the fact. Augusta knows, but she doesn’t tell me. A mutual friend tells me that he died of a drug overdose. I hope that’s not true.