My father was not a Collins.

Was that enough to condemn him to die?  There are people who think that way.  There are people here who hated my father.  I can understand why.  He had the nerve to want to escape this place.  Men can’t get alimony, but he needed something and had earned something as thanks for living like he did.  Instead, he had to run.  And there are people who know why.

He loved me.  You may not believe it, but he loved me.  He showed me as much love in a few weeks as other did in twenty years.  That man — who loved so much — was terrified to associate with Collinsport.  This isn’t innuendo; it’s fact.  Anyone who would frighten that lovely man needs to think very hard about why and how.  What right did they have to extinguish that much love?

Those people won, but not before he came back and was a wonderful father and teacher to one person.  My name is Carolyn Stoddard.  I’m very proud of that.  I love you, Daddy.  This is one day when no one will deny me that right.


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