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A friend sent this to me and I was attracted to the truth it shared. Although it is a work of fiction originally published under the name Elizabeth Silance Ballard in 1974, this tale cobbled together from the real-life experiences of the author and her contemporaries contains life lessons that still hold value for us today.

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The idea of bunting, tulle, satin and organza being used in an educational setting at Central High School is not outside the spectrum of reality, but claims that these items and more were used to help boys become men is a little far-fetched.

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When I was growing up, I had a considerable amount of contact with my aunts, uncles and cousins. We lived not far apart, and my first cousins were more like my brothers and sisters than cousins. Growing into my teen years, I became more aware of my religion mainly due to the fact my mother, being a strict Baptist, had attempted to raise me as such. Because of differences in the denominations of many of my relatives, many of our visits would erupt into a great theological argument.

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Q. I remember reading about an organization at the University of Houston Law Center that can help with consumer problems. Can you please give me its name?

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Bart Brechter, curator of Bayou Bend Gardens in Houston, will be the guest speaker at the upcoming Magnolia Garden Club “Bounties of Black Gold” Flower Show. His topic will be organic gardening, a technique he has used to transform Bayou Bend Gardens into “the state’s only formal organic public garden.” His work with the River Oaks Garden Club has helped to maintain the integrity of Bayou Bend Gardens as Ms.

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