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One of the more amusing family stories I sometimes tell is about a relative of mine, a few generations back, who moved in with another man after his wife died.

Ooh, everybody goes. Salacious family gossip!

Except the little town they moved to was actually Lily Dale Assembly, in upstate New York, which so far as I know is still one of the oldest continually running Spiritualist communes in the United States. Harry and Edward moved up there so that Edward, ex-model and former elder in the Presbyterian church, could start on what I think was his third career as a spirit medium. He channeled the spirit of an Edwardian actress named Lillie Langtry, also known as "the Jersey Rose".

At this point, the whole 'shacked up with his boyfriend' thing has become the least interesting part of the story, and people begin to look at me funny.

My parents fucked things up in many respects, several of them so egregious that I haven't spoken to them in years, but I want to give credit…

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