Westward Ho!

The old clunker
Just like Dinah said!

We drove back east in our battleship gray Plymouth Cranbrook, but on the way back to California, after our year in New York, we stopped in Detroit and bought a new car! A red station wagon. We saw the USA in a Chevrolet!

It was really this red. Redder, even.
Why am I the only one who looks happy??

While we were in Detroit, we visited my grandparents and my uncle, who still lived at home with his parents.
This picture of my grandparents, my dad (in a jaunty bow tie!), my sister and me is the last picture I have of my grandfather. He died the following year, when I was in the second grade. He liked pumpernickel bread and “a glass tea.” I wish I could remember more about him, but Grandpa Glass was quiet and kind, and he had a cigarette lighter that looked like a tiny pistol. It was the most interesting thing in the whole apartment.

My mother kept her dad’s gold wedding band after he died. She had it attached to a chain, like a pendant, with a tiny Jewish star inside, and wore it as a necklace for many years. You can see the ring on his finger in the picture.

The trip back to California is pretty fuzzy. I’m pretty sure we stopped along the way at some State Parks and I clearly remember Yosemite as one of them. I tried to feed a chipmunk at the overlook to Half Dome. I believe we were accompanied by the young Israeli couple my parents became friends with when we all lived in Bancroft Hall. They wanted to see more of the country before heading back home. We were fascinated by this couple: she wore her waist-length hair in a braid that she could twist together without even looking. He smoked a pipe, like my dad, and liked to make us laugh.

 And then we were back on Humphrey Avenue, where we reconnected with neighbors and friends. Second grade would be a good year, back at J.O. Ford, with a nice new teacher named Mrs. Reeves. She had brown hair in a short, “bubble” hairdo, a slightly southern accent, and a very kind smile.

Sure, it’s all fun and games until someone breaks an arm

This was also the year I broke my arm roller skating. I hit a crack in the sidewalk and came down hard. I walked home, holding onto my rapidly swelling arm like it was a loaf of  pumpernickel instead of a valued appendage.  Luckily (I guess) it was my right arm, since I’m left-handed. So I could still do homework, but I could also write stories and draw — two thing I loved to do.

And I got to be the center of attention in my class, with my thick white cast and muslin sling– and a new story to tell.

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