Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn’t supposed to be doing things that required pants. Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born; furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life. I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year. She hurt my feelings and set my teeth permanently on edge, but when I asked Atticus about it, he said there were already enough sunbeams in the family and to go on about my business, he didn’t mind me much the way I was.
If you’re in Cambridge, Massachusetts tomorrow, August 5, and have a few minutes, stop by the (new!) main branch of the Cambridge Public Library at 449 Broadway between 9am and 9pm to listen to the all-day read-a-thon of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Local storytellers, poets, politicians, members of local bookstores, members of the library administration and board of trustees, and numerous members of the staff of the Cambridge Public Library will be reading. I read at 6pm.