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I: HER LIFE


grandparents, the tiring journey seemed worth it,” she wrote about one McDermott gathering at “a grungy pub that felt very much like home.” “Glasses clinked, pictures were taken, and trash was talked . . .” Visits to Grandma Marie Pratt in downstate Illinois


and Indiana were quieter affairs, but competitive as well, mostly at the card table over games of “Oh, Hell.” They often included Stacy’s sister Tracy, Uncle Jason and cousin Zoe.


Her visits with Grandpa Jim Pratt living in southern


California and, later, southern Missouri, were heavy on both card games and sports—including golf, which Grandpa Jim


helped teach Mack in the yard next to this rural Missouri home. He died when Mack had just turned seven. She also played golf with her great-grandfather, Cecil Cross, during visits to Ottawa with him and Great-Grandma Henrietta. She died when Mack was nineteen. Though growing up distant from extended family, Mack had a deep bench of surrogate


parents and unofficial siblings in a tight-knit Springfield klatch: the McKinneys, the Mutman- Doyles, the Parsons-Mosers, the Ericksons, the LeComte-Luptons, others. Until she could drive, her weekend evenings were usually spent with the group in someone’s crowded living room or porch or one of the dinner hangouts—Barrelhead, DÁrcy’s Pint, Little Saigon—the kids commandeering a side table or the basement. Once she started driving the steel-blue Jeep that had been handed down from her dad and then her sister, her appearances at the gatherings were more like cameos, stopping by briefly at the restaurant or the crowded living room, often with a McKinney or an Erickson kid in tow, to scoop up some food or to ask, sweetly, for some cash, before escaping to more interesting surroundings.


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With Grandpa Jim Pratt (top); With great-grandparents Cecil & Henrietta Cross (above).


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