Rosalie Broussard was a troubled girl from a very young age. Her parents worried about her spending long periods secluded in her room and not hearing a sound from behind her door.
They never knew about her intense love of books. Yes, they knew she liked to read, and would take her to the library as often as she asked. But they had no clear grasp of the kind of books she liked to read. For example, she read and re-read Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.” In fact, she kept the book hidden under her bed, never returning it to the library. She claimed that a boy threw the book out of the bus window while they were on the Red River bridge. She saved her baby-sitting money and paid the library what they said she owed.
You could say Rosalie was precocious, sexually mature for her age. She got herself pregnant before she was sixteen and decided to have the baby, a boy, whom she chose to name James (b. 1985) (see song “Jenny or James“).
Rosalie ran away when James was barely one year old, leaving the child to be raised by his grandparents, Mike and Ellen Broussard, but remaining in Louisiana. She would come home every now and then and spend some time with the boy, but after Rosalie’s marriage to Tully Tate, she went to live in Mobile, Alabama, leaving James behind.
Rosalie and Tully had twin girls a few years later. Throughout these early years of her marriage, Rosalie would run off from time to time, forcing Tully to find her and bring her back, only to run off again a few weeks later (see song “What Tully’s Done“).
Finally, Tully just gave up on her and let Rosalie go.