Letters to Suzanna

Letters to Children, Others

Letters to Becky & Cliff

Digitizing Mother

Home

Letters to Suzanna Ware O'Donnell   Letters to Children, Grandchildren, Others   Letters to Becky & Cliff Woodhouse   Digitizing Mother   Home

April 9, 1969

John turns 21; his car cake quietly awaits Godot.




Gwyn sent this letter to us in Vine Grove, Kentucky, where we lived for several months while draftee Hugh underwent advanced infantry training at Fort Knox.

"Just send Lola," on page 1: Lola was Mrs. Lovia Green, the African-American housekeeper our father Crawford hired in the early 1950s after we moved to our new house on Taliaferro Drive. Lola was one of the great influences in Gwyn's life and the lives of the Ware children. She is frequently mentioned in these letters.

Lola and her husband Arthur had five children and neither believed in raising a hand to any child. She stayed with Gwyn until the bitter end, when Alzheimer's forced Gwyn's move to a nursing home in 1991.

In the mid-1970s a terrified Lola would talk a raging Gwyn into handing over a shotgun she was suddenly brandishing. Gwyn (who until that exact moment had never touched a gun) was hollering at the top of her lungs, "WHERE IS HE?? WHERE THE HELL IS HE!!"  He -- Crawford -- had "routinely" left the house and town that morning, somehow failing to mention to Gwyn (or to any family member, or, more significantly, to Lola, Gwyn's only companion) that he had arranged for divorce papers to be served on Gwyn by her OWN lawyer that afternoon. He had also left his collection of shotguns and rifles in its habitually unlocked closet. Lola had no way of knowing whether or not the wildly swooping gun was loaded.

A few years after, Lola would again disarm Gwyn, now smartly toting matches and a can of gasoline up the hill while swearing to torch the flagrant, new, NEXT DOOR home of Crawford and his second bride. The only way Lola could get her to stop was to issue the ultimate warning: that she would no longer be Gwyn's friend if she persisted.

Such moments of drama were relatively few and far between. But every moment of every day revealed Lola's character no differently: compassionate and wise and forbearing, she was nonpariel.

Lovia Green, more profoundly than anyone else I have ever known, showed me what it means to live a Christian life. --so


Top     Next Letter