Getting a feel for the story.


The town secretary for most of the 1950s was Mildred Haversham. She started working for the town back in 1929, just after she got out of high school, and — well, nobody talked about her too much, but they’d always say she was did her job, so I guess she did that. Some time in the 1930s she got a husband, but he went to the Pacific during the war and never came back. No kids. I don’t know if she thought that was a good thing, or a bad thing.

By the time Place became the Place (sometime in 1953, as near as I can tell), Mrs. Haversham was the town secretary, and people would tell me how she purely hated the idea of just trying to ignore what happened there. They’d say how she was a orderly kind of woman, the sort of person who liked having everything around her just so. And when things weren’t, she’d want to make ‘em just so.

So I guess the Place bothered her. There isn’t much to look up, but the town council meeting minutes showed her showing up regular as rain, every month, and putting questions in the record about what to do about the Place. She’d raise the question, the council would table it, and she’d appeal. It was like clockwork. She also tried writing letters to the papers, but the ones that got published were so general you really couldn’t tell what Mrs. Haversham was talking about unless you already knew.

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