by David James

Dolly, our class valedictorian, was the first in her family to get beyond the eighth grade and her future looked really rosy and she was all smiles until the week after our graduation when her daddy lost his job at the saw mill, came home, shot and killed both her momma and himself and a little later Dolly told folks her sadness liked to have killed her, too, but that fall things turned around a bit because she married a classmate who'd joined the army, Darryl, who, after their long weekend honeymoon, left for Viet Nam, but he got to come back home early — in about three months in one of those flag-draped wooden boxes and folks said, “That Dolly is sure unlucky”.