michael r hardesty
"Ginkgo" Excerpt

                 The Grace Of The Ginkgo
                                                     by michael r hardesty

                                Excerpt from Chapter Four

When the end of the school year arrived, Samantha invited me to her eighth-
graduation Mass at St. Columba Catholic Church. Liesl went too, since
her only sitter 
was graduating from St. Columba and unavailable for duty. As
the honored graduates 
filed down the church’s aisle way to “Pomp and
Circumstance,” Liesl spotted Samantha.

“Manta,” she yelled kneeling on the pew between Idelle and me, her head
bobbing like 
a cork in rippling water. Samantha smiled broadly and waved to
Liesl. “What’s Manta 
doing, Poppa?”

“She’s finishing school, Sweetie.” I continued, more to myself than to Liesl.
“But more 
so, she’s changing stages. From sweet youth to awkward adolescence.” 

I glanced at Idelle. She was crying and I took her hand and patted it. Liesl noticed 
patted Idelle’s thigh, looking at her face with anxiety.

“She’s a fine young lady, Idelle,” I said. “She’ll be an accomplished woman
before we 
know it.”

Idelle was silent, but smiled at Liesl through her tears, like the sun occasionally
while it rains.

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