Abridged

His main duty was to sweep the front porch every morning and every afternoon to keep out the fleas.

Mary Lou bought several cases of lima beans. They ate nothing but for years.

The children found a set of false teeth in the yard. No one ever found out whose they were, but they became a favorite toy.

An older boy tied him up and rolled him in a wheelbarrow up and down hills until he peed all over himself. Mama switched him for making a mess.

One cup was for blood pressure. One cup was for heart stuff. The rest were vitamins.

He owned an apartment building. He did all the maintenance.

He was fixing the light, but someone told him not to strain himself.

His children were good at math and science, but they struggled with English and common sense.

“You should write your memoirs,” someone told him, a nurse who was struggling for something to say that wasn’t pity.

A postage stamp cost seven cents, the same as a bottle of soda or a gallon of gas.

He woke up in wheelbarrows sometimes. He was covered in sweat.

A cup of coffee could kill him. So could a dash of soy sauce. So could almost anything.

His daughter had a husband who mistreated her, but he couldn’t really blame her for not knowing any better.

That might not have been his daughter. That might have been a novel by James Michener.

It could have been anything.

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