From the Back Cover
me Ishmael," my father used to say. At the time I didn't realize
that was the opening line of Moby
I was pretty little when we drove down to New Bedford and he took me
to the Seaman's Bethel on Johnny Cake Hill. We sat in the pew with
the plaque that identified it as Herman Melville's.
one of the few memories I have of my father, that trip to New
Bedford. I don't remember my mother being with us though she
probably was. Both of them died a year later on a wet and dismal
February night as they were driving back from Boston. They'd been
to Daddy's thirtieth birthday party at my grandmother's house on
Beacon Hill - the house I subsequently went to live in and grow up
in. The house my husband and I have come back to now.
huge," Stan says as we walk up Mount Vernon Street. "Five
stories? You lived here alone with your grandmother?"
Nell," I tell him. "GrammyLou's housekeeper."
is a beautiful spring day. All the cherry trees in Boston Common are
in full bloom and the air is warm and filled with the scent of lilacs
and salt water from the harbor. Wisteria drips from the vines twining
over the bowed windows which look dark and grubby.
people in a house that size? All twelve of us lived in a place about
as big as one floor of it."
I laugh, "there was the crazy old lady in the attic."
turns and grins at me. "What?"
was sort of a joke between GrammyLou and me." I stare up at the six
arched windows along the mansard roof at the top of GrammyLou's
house. "Actually, there's a ballroom on the top floor. I grew up
in the country and when I came to live here I was terrified of all
the noise in the city. GrammyLou always told me not to be scared. It
was just the crazy old lady in the attic acting up."
ballroom?" Stan can't get past that. "You had a ballroom?"
shrug. "I've only been in it a few times. GrammyLou closed it up
after Daddy's accident. They had a birthday party for him up there
the night he died. She didn't even take down the decorations. She
just locked the door and refused to ever go upstairs again." I take
Stan's big arm and snuggle against him. He's my bulwark against a
confusing world. "GrammyLou adored Daddy. She never recovered from
About the Author
Kathleen Valentine was born and grew up in the Allegheny highlands of Pennsylvania. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in The Arts and worked for over twenty years in the art/marketing departments of high-tech corporations. Since 2003 she has run her own design business, Valentine-Design.com. She is the author of Fry Bacon. Add Onions
, a cookbook/memoir of growing up Pennsylvania Dutch, as well as 3 novels, several novelettes and short story collections, and knitting instruction books. Her blog at KathleenValentine.com has been read by thousands of readers since its beginning in July 2005. She currently lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America's oldest seaport, and is writing every day.