It was raining to beat the band. Abandoned on the front stoop of a godforsaken alley row house: one baby in a basket. The baby was probably 3-4 months old, and pinned to her baby blanket, a name: Effie Michelle. Inside the row house lived the crazy Native American woman and her sister and her strays and her boarder and maybe a man and his scary son. And a fiery young red head named Jenny who only five years prior had been the orphan baby transported by ferry and abandoned at this same row house.
Why these two babies were left with the Native American woman is unclear. The adjacent Salvation Army storefront could have played a role. Some say Bossy’s grandmother was born to an unwed Dance Hall Girl working in the city just across the river.
That’s Bossy’s grandmother on the right. She’s twelve, and a couple of years before this picture was taken she was made to quit school. Which didn’t keep her from reading her way down every library shelf. In the middle sits “the old woman”—for she was never mom. On the left is the old woman’s sister.
Hunger. That’s the only thing Bossy’s grandmother could remember about her bereft childhood. In a few years a cute big-band drummer will attempt to smuggle food to her through a second story window.
And that drummer is Bossy’s grandfather.