When I was in my early twenties, I suffered such a painful falling out with my parents that the estrangement lasted for nearly three years. During that time the three of us spoke not one word to each other. I was accused of an act of which I was innocent. My mother, swayed by circumstances that suggested otherwise, remained convinced of guilt.
I’d returned from my two years military duty in Germany with the intention of making the family farm my life’s work. I’d temporarily moved into the bedroom that my brother, Rowland , and I once shared, planning to move into a place of my own as soon as Shirley Rice and I, to whom I was engaged, were married. Though the date was set for June 10th and we were already into the month of May, it was clear that Father was not pleased with the prospect of having a grown son living back home, however temporarily.