December 27, 2009 |
"Why should you worry if he grows or not, Joe?" says Mr. Kandinsky, the old East End tailor in Wolf Mankowitz's 1953 novel "A Kid for Two Farthings" (Bloomsbury: 128 pp., $14 paper), to his 6-year-old charge. "Take everything for what it is; don't try to improve it, Joe. A chicken is a chicken. A man is a man. A little unicorn is a little unicorn. It's enough." Though the unicorn in question is most likely a sickly goat with one nubbin of a horn -- whom Joe discovered at an animal market alongside dog-sellers and someone known as the Eel King -- Mr. Kandinsky doesn't shatter the story the boy has spun around the creature.
June 6, 1994 |
"I'm so lonely I can't help wishing I were still single," sighs Suzanne, 33, who owns a small dressmaking business. When she met Joe, who is seven years younger, "I knew I was in love," she recalls. Still, to make sure they were right for each other, they decided to live together for six months. "By that time we were positive we knew each other well," she adds. "We had the most lavish wedding and honeymoon. How could we have been so wrong?"
July 16, 1998 |
The song was one of those swinging tunes from the 1940s that never failed to send Joseph Secco dashing onto the dance floor. He whirled around with his wife, Nancy, until he was dead on his feet. "I'm tired," he said. "Let's sit the next one out." He flopped into his chair with all the grace of a stuffed laundry bag flung from the rafters. Nancy thought he was joking, until she noticed him gasping for breath and flailing his arms, the look on his face that said he was already gone.
May 23, 1994 |
My first experience of "going steady" with someone was spent in complete silence. This offered a wholly different perspective on "worrying about what to say." My friend Roger was the intermediary for a slender, freckle-faced boy I'll call Joe. Joe moved into our neighborhood about the same time spring weather ushered in cherry blossoms, warmer winds and a wave of new feelings that unexpectedly hit the sixth- and seventh-graders of our school.
HOME & GARDEN
July 6, 2013 |
Looking back, perhaps it was just timing. Or perhaps it was the peculiar ambience of the Saddle Ranch Chop House (mechanical bull, sticky floor and stale beer smell) that thwarted a connection. Normally I wouldn't have been caught dead in that place, but it was Christmas Eve, and I had agreed to meet my friend Rachel, her boyfriend and their friend Joe for drinks. Joe was handsome in a normal-guy kind of way. Not my type - a bit too old and too well dressed. All I remember from that day is that he smoked menthols, he lived in Hollywood, and never in my life had a guy shown less interest in me. The next couple of years, I saw Joe once or twice, always at parties on the Eastside, where, to my dismay, my newly married friends had been migrating.
May 4, 1994 |
My neighbor is in bad shape. She's decrepit, she's broken; all she seems to have are memories. She's been alone and abandoned, in embarrassingly declining health, for about 10 years. People pass her daily, glance curiously, and move along. Some say they care, but they're not in a position to do anything. I refer to my neighbor as a "she" because she has always struck me as such. She's an "it," though. She's a house. I have looked out on her windows for 15 years. She was built around 1929 or '30.
January 10, 1987 |
Joe and Kay Peterson look like your average, everyday retired couple. Joe, tall and bespectacled with a quick laugh, once worked as a union electrician. Kay, white-haired and petite, used to be a registered nurse. But one fact distinguishes these 59-year-olds from most others: For the last 17 years the former Huntington Beach couple have lived a life some people only dream about.
December 16, 2008 |
We bumped into each other at the KC Korner, a little crossroads market in this northern Arizona farm town. I'd gone there to ask for directions to Sen. John McCain's ranch -- a secluded 7-acre spread that, had the election gone differently, would have served as the Western White House. He was there to buy a pack of Marlboros, a young man, dressed in T-shirt, jeans and scuffed boots, with a cellphone and folded knife on his belt. He introduced himself as Justin Pettijohn, said he'd spent most of his 36 years around here, frequently stalked game in the brush-covered hills overlooking the McCain place and had bid for jobs at the homes of some of the senator's neighbors.