The Asbury Park kitchen of the house Jenifer Hixon kindly let us use as location for Tawnya Foskett’s Where there’s Smoke was – like the entire house itself – a treasure box full with the most wonderful finds.
Having read a while back with my kids Bill Bryson’s wonderfully hilarious but still loving The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir, I was so pleased to finally see the paper-reincarnation of the real Dick and Jane – two fellows I missed out on growing up in West-Germany in the 70ies and 80ies.
“In the Dick and Jane books, Father is always called Father; never Dad or Daddy, and always wears a suit, even for Sunday lunch – even, indeed, to drive to Grandfather and Grandmother’s farm for a weekend visit. Mother is always Mother. She is always on top of things, always nicely groomed and always in a clean frilly apron. The family has no last name. They live in a pretty house with a picket white fence on a pleasant street, but they have no radio or TV and their bathroom has no toilet (so no problems deciding between Number 1 and Number 2 in their household). The children – Dick, Jane and little Sally – have only the simplest and most timeless of toys: a ball, a wagon, a kite, a wooden sailboat.
No one ever shouts or bleeds or weeps helplessly. No meals ever burn, no drinks ever spill (or intoxicate). No dust accumulates. The sun always shines. The dog never shits on the lawn. There are no atomic bombs, no butter boys, no cicada killers. Everyone is at all times clean, healthy, strong, reliable, hardworking, American, and white.”
…oh… Jenifer Hixon didn’t grow up in Asbury Park … had I mention that already??