Debbie Stewart Great Falls Public Library Published 6:23 PM EDT Apr 3, 2019 Susan Henderson spent a month living in a motel room in Winnett, Mont., where her father was born before she wrote “The Flicker of Old Dreams.” Can old dreams be made real again? Try as she might, Mary Crampton’s 30-plus years in the small town of Petroleum hadn’t removed her stigma as an outsider. She once held artistic aspirations and planned to leave Petroleum for a different kind of life. Mary is the town embalmer, growing up with her widowed mortician dad, she is “odd.” As a child she would fold sheets of tinfoil into shiny beds and place her plastic dolls on them. She whispered words like ‘Glory’ and ‘Our Little Angel,’ then draped them head to foot in Kleenex wearing latex gloves, powdery inside, loose on her hands. Kids were afraid to touch anything after she did and adults would whisper, “The poor strange girl without a mother. What it must do to her to be around the dead all day long.” “And I could feel the shame of the strange child I’d become.” This is a wonderful story of the relationship between a father and daughter, a small… Read full this story
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