I'd been the only girl. In fact, despite my trio of little brothers, I did my best to be an only child. I comforted myself by reading about nice families, i.e. those to be found in books, particularly those written by the great Missouri author Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957). My cousin Myrna and I agreed that, for us (both daughters of sad, dysfunctional,who'd have been ever so much more cheerful and organized if they'd never procreated), our happy childhoods existed only in the adventures of the Ingalls and in Maud Hart Lovelace's book about Betsy Ray and Tacy Kelly. www.betsy-tacysociety.org
So it is that my sister's name is Laura. She would have been Laura Ingalls Harness, my our folks insisted on Jeanne for her middle name. And Jeannie is how she was known, beautiful, rosy, girl-baby with a cloud of curly dark hair. So jealous I was, dishwater-blond dork that I was, that I could have spit and I did, but not on the baby.
She shares a birthday with old Commodore Matthew Perry (1794), Lew Wallace (1827; author of Ben-Hur), snarky-brilliant Clare Boothe Luce (1903), and dashing Omar Sharif (oohbaybee). And she goes by Laura these days, my sister does, my best friend. Amazing how the calendar fixes everything.