opposites. I couldn’t quite shake my seemingly inborn inferiority complex about being
short-legged and not naturally svelte. Of course, it didn’t help that I made use of the
school’s vending machines, which were more than willing to cough out chocolate bars as
long as it was fed enough coins.
Joanie was the only child of Ruth and Melvin Jacobs; Melvin was a self-made man
who experienced tremendous success in all his endeavors, made an abundance of money,
even during the war years, and bestowed much of it on his only child.
The Jacobs were more than generous with me as well. They treated me like another
daughter. One time, a good friend of Mr. Jacobs, Colonel Tom Parker, bragged about a
young singer he was representing, whom he felt was set for stardom. Joanie got to meet
this singer when she accompanied her father to a meeting with Parker. The young man
was Elvis Presley.
Joanie and her family were Jews who didn’t practice their faith on a weekly basis
either, and somehow, Joanie got involved with a Christian Science congregation. She
invited me to attend the Wednesday evening healing classes with her. I was fascinated
with what I was seeing and hearing, as many people shared a personal demonstration of
their faith. I didn’t realize how much of an effect the doctrine was having on me at the
time, and continued to study with Joanie until we got to the part of Christian Science that
involved giving up any kind of medical treatment
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