My grandfather, Pop, was a tough, old Norwegian. Loving his family in a fiercely protective way, he was not one for coddling his three daughters, Marguerite, Audrey and Patty. As my mother Marguerite related, there were no understanding little talks from their father, rather terse declarations such as “If you don’t get an education, you’ll be out picking sh*t with the birds.” And, pointing to the Mississippi, “If you ever get in the family way, there’s the river!”
One of Pop’s rules was they were not allowed to be alone in the house with a man. It didn’t matter that my mother (the eldest) was old enough to attend Miss Wood’s Teachers College and knew how to drive a stick-shift car. There was no I trust, etc. He didn’t trust them and that was that.