The people of Crisfield say Gram is crazy - she lives like a hermit; she is the lady who hurled her phone through the phone company window when her son was killed in Vietnam. Yet Dicey understands that Gram has a reason for everything she does, and if people think she is crazy, it is because Gram doesn't care a bit what others think of her. When Gram realizes that her reputation is hurting the Tillerman children, she sets out to fix it, taking on the second grade at marbles, for example, knowing that by getting right down to their level she will win Sammy's classmates over, and take the pressure of having a reputedly crazy grandmother away. Dicey knows that although Gram's actions are unconventional, there is always a purpose behind them. She is shrewd, and wily - crazy - like a fox.