Pardon me (Roy, is that... oops, wrong thread) for jumping in, but what exactly is so difficult about accepting that writers (especially writers as talented as Smith) just make stuff up? Do we assume there's really a Loretta in Prine's life? (Maybe there is, for all I know, but that's not the point). Writers make stuff up. It's what we do. Sometimes it bears a relationship to something in "real life" and sometimes it doesn't, but if someone asks the writer and he says "I made it up" I think we're duty-bound to accept that. Not every great poem/story/song has a "story behind it" unless you want to count "life" as the greatest backstory of all.