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Nash, Edith / Practice the here and now: selected writings of Edith Nash

Nash, Edith
At the Hemingways,   pp. 11-12

Page 11

At the Hemingways
 I am sitting at the Hemingways' table at 600 N. Kenilworth in Oak Park because
my very best friend has invited me to have dinner. My friendly hero, Dr.
Hemingway, is at the head and his majestic wffe opposite. Older children
all live somewhere else — Ernest, their already notorious son; Marceline,
Ursula, and Madeline (Sunny). The people still at home are Leicester, called
Gaspipe, and my friend Carol, called Beefy.
 Beefy and I are together in all ways — in 8" grade at Oliver Wendell
Homes School, only a block away — in our Lodge. Beefy made buttons
for us five girls. Orange cloth sewed around large buttons with Q.A. lettered
on them (for Quinquae Amicae — Five Friends). I admired Beefy more
than any of the others. I thought the sun rose and set on her command.
 I loved Dr. Hemingway and especially when he made "hockies" — a meat
dish cooked in a bean pot on a shelf in their coalfurnace. It filled the
house with the most wonderful smell — clouds of temptation rose from
their basement. I wished my father would be like him. - -
 Gas pipe was a nuisance — younger brother to both Beefy and me, tagging
along, making stupid fun all the time. I envied Beefy having Gaspipe to look
down on, since I had only older brothers, three of them, who looked down
on me.
Gaspipe said, "Do Jews eat pork?" And I said, "No, that's forbidden."
"What's forbidden?" "They're not supposed to eat pork." "Do you eat pork
at your house?" "Yes, we do. We don't go by those rules." "Do they eat pork
and beans in a can?" "No, I don't think so." "Do you eat canned pork and
beans?" "Sometimes."
"Why do you?"

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