And, on the 25th day of the seventh month, it did begin thusly:
In which I introduce my unusual life predicament to my readers.
My mother, being both a Scot and the third plural wife of Elder Otis Elijah Russell of the Cedar City Fourth Ward in the Country of Deseret, decided her offspring should bear her name in life rather than their father’s. So it was that on the Sunday after my birth, Bishop Lunt gave me a blessing an a name by which I would be known on the records of the Church: Olivia Viola Laird.
That name is carved upon a wedge of sandstone in the city cemetery.
The Fever of ’61 fell heavily upon my family. It robbed my mother of her husband and a child. It robbed my father of his own life, the lives of two of his wives, and the lives of three of his sons.
It robbed me of my identity.