I would bike up to grandmom and grandpop’s house on Mecray Lane, a half-mile uphill past Harry’s Cleaners and Tony’s Barber Shop. A Roosevelt Democrat museum of blue collar thrift, no brand-name canned good crossed its threshold. Growing up, Mom parks on their front lawn. My parents courted on the porch’s single bench swing, its back to the west.
Back in the eat-in kitchen, grandmom held services in her Chapel of Indeterminate Yearnings. She would bring in Carlos Rossi from her bedroom closet, blackberry brandy from her nightstand. She made hot toddies for us with rotgut whiskey .