She was cute. She was, in fact, cuter than all her seven nieces and nephews put together. She was our playmate of choice.
Adults felt the same way. My great-grandmother’s eighty-plus-year-old sister, Aunt Leal, once reported, “That cute little Betty drove us over to San Antonio for Arthur’s funeral, and we just had more fun.”
Betty became the age of every companion. She made children feel grown up and the elderly feel young.
When I informed my parents that Betty and I were practically the same age, they guffawed. I don’t know why. My assumption was reasonable: The spike heels she gave me for dress-up fit perfectly when I was eight, and by the time I was ten, we were nearly the same height. And we laughed at all the same things.
When I was seven, I sent Betty the Valentine pictured here. Note that the “Aunt” was an afterthought. I have no idea why I inserted it–I never called her “Aunt” in my life. She was just Betty.