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The Whole Truth and Nothing But

213 pages
Library of Alexandria
I’m told that when you write a book with a title like this, you must let your readers know something about your life. Well, I was born into the home of David and Margaret Furry, one of nine children. Seven of us grew up. Three of us are still here, including my sister Margaret and brother Edgar, who played a good game of football when he attended Lafayette quite a while back. I first saw the light of day in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, a beautiful suburb of Altoona, which used to live off the Pennsylvania Railroad and its affiliates. Since railroads have fallen on lean and hungry years, I don’t know what’s feeding the place today. My mother, an angel on earth whom I worshiped, named me Elda, from a story she was reading at the time. Years later, after I’d married DeWolf Hopper, a numerologist changed Elda to Hedda. My husband, Wolfie, was much older than my father and had been married four times before. The wives’ names all sounded pretty much the same: Ella, Ida, Edna, and Nella. His memory wasn’t as sharp as it had been, and he couldn’t always remember that I was Elda. As time went on, this started to irk me, so the numerologist came up with Hedda Hopper. I asked how much. “Ten dollars.” That’s exactly how it happened; it changed my whole life. It was the best bargain I ever made. Wolfie never forgot it, and I’ve never regretted it. My sister Margaret was my father’s pet. He and I didn’t get on well. He thought women should be the workers; I believed my brothers should share the burden. Mother was ill for six years after Margaret’s birth, and I took on her duties as well as my own, since my older sister Dora had married. I had to catch a brother by the scruff of the neck to get any help, but they all helped themselves three times a day to the meals I prepared. I also did the washing, ironing, cleaning, and helped Dad in his butcher shop.