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January 12, 2004
Norma was legendary in the family for standing against her mother, my great aunt. Solange, in turn, was legendary for not only surviving much longer than anyone thought she had a right to, but by managing to impose her will on everyone around her for nearly a century. Solange (who wasn't French, nor were her parents) applied an inviolable set of rules to everyone but herself—inviolable, that is, if you wished to remain in her favor. Her favor was not warm or wonderful, but to be out of it, and still in the family, was a long, pitted road.