When viewed head on, the Old Cannon appeared to be unimpressively large, like the house that’s not the biggest in the suburban subdivision but not the smallest, either. A two level white porch fronted an even brick façade of seven skinny windows up and six down, with a door in the middle. As the driveway curved, however, a rambling whiteboard addition off the back of the house blew the symmetry all to hell. A disorganized hodgepodge of flowering trees filled the yard. Tipsy picked out evergreen and deciduous magnolias, dogwoods, crepe myrtles and some variety of flowering cherry. In bloom most of the year, said Granna, in the approving and slightly envious voice of one avid gardener admiring another. On this early July morning, fuchsia crepe myrtles ruled the day.
The drive ended in a circle, and within that circle stood a black cannon atop a tiered granite pedestal. “It’s from the Revolutionary War,” said Will as they climbed down from the truck. “No one even remembers how it got out here.”
White rose bushes surrounded the cannon. A bed of red pansies lined the roses, like puddles of paint left by the Queen of Hearts’ errant playing cards. Flowers in colors and varieties too numerous to count spilled over the porch railings.
Will whispered to Tipsy as they approached the porch. “Her name is Billingsford.”
“Her maiden name?”
“No, her first name.”
Tipsy whistled. “That’s a doozy, even by Charleston standards.”
“She goes by Billy.”
“Every southerner loves a good nickname.”
Will put an arm around her shoulder. “Yes we do, Miss Tipsy.”
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