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By Janos Thuroczy

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I only had to buy a beverage as my cousin had instructed me to do. PMD 27 2/25/2005, 8:44 AM 28 FAR FROM HOME told me to find a table I liked and said she would bring me my drink. About four or five of us sat at a table. When I opened my bag to see what Cousin Mary had packed and laid it out on the table, all eyes were upon me. I had about a half of a chicken, ham, bread, fruit (two or three pieces), and a huge hunk of pound cake. ” “I guess,” I said. It was a typical Cousin Mary lunch. “Well, no wonder you are so nice and plump,” she said.

People were checking out, and there I was with no purse, not even for carfare home. Finally Mr. Gaskins somehow got it open. I breathed a sigh of relief. Now I had change to pay busfare home, and I also had my first real paycheck. I could have hugged Mr. Gaskin’s neck but didn’t dare. PMD 31 2/25/2005, 8:44 AM 32 FAR FROM HOME whether they’d say, “Look at that little fast thing,” or what. I just thanked him and let it go. The next day, Cousin Mary took me to a branch bank just around the corner on Ninth Street and showed me how to get my check cashed.

No one waited up for me at Mrs. Mosely’s house. Everyone would be asleep. A key was left for me so that I could get in. My mail would be on a table in the hall by the front door. After I put on my nightclothes, I would go down to the kitchen, fix a snack, then carry it to my room, sit at the desk, and open my mail. Usually there would be lots of mail to open. Some mail was from home, but mostly it was from the pen pals I had in the service. PMD 53 2/25/2005, 8:44 AM 54 FAR FROM HOME They didn’t have to put stamps on their mail.

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