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May 29, 1985

"What a ball grandmother and I had - and grandaddy too - selecting and planting camellias large and small and watching them grow and bloom."











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Hope was Gwyn's great friend and my godmother. When I last visited her in Henley-on-Thames in the year 2000, I finally learned that her handsome Free Frenchman was a reactionary aristo and abusive spouse who openly kept a mistress throughout their marriage with no regard for Hope's feelings. When she finally left with their two sons after years of mistreatment, he swore to hunt them down and reclaim them -- alive or dead. They were his heirs and his property. At the end, after escaping to her farm in England, she and the boys barricaded the doors and waited inside with a loaded shotgun for several days, fully expecting a bloody dénouement. Which thankfully never came.


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