Lake Charles American-Press from Lake Charles, Louisiana on July 26, 1964 · Page 43
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Lake Charles American-Press from Lake Charles, Louisiana · Page 43

Lake Charles, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 26, 1964
Page 43
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Nobody Pushes Larry Around/ By AMY VANDERBILT Author of "Amy Vanderbilt's New Complete Book of Etiquette" and "Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cookbook" Larry was a dirty kid of the New York streets; Stephen was a privileged boy from the country; the two had one thing in common—a need to learn from each other I met thf boys wdkino our poodle. "Isn't it iste for you two to be out?" I asked. fTiHE BOYS— four of them 1. —were very dirty. They leaned with a speculative eye on the wroughtriron fence in front of my newly acquired brownstone in the Gracie Square area of New York City. We were the new, peculiar neighbors in an area that had once been all elegant brownstones but which is now a bit of everything—luxury apartments, cold-water tenements, and a number of brownstones like mine rescued from rooming-house fate or the wreckers. My young sons were country- born and reared. The youngest, Stephen, 11, was round with the baby fat that had beset all three at the same age, only to be outgrown as they shot upward. The boys outside the fence were lean and, as I said, very dirty indeed. Not just their clothes but their skins. And their hair was stiff with dirt. On their mouths, marks of their last meal still showed. Other owners of remodeled brownstones on the street had warned me against the street boys who, despite the nearby Boys' Club playground and the greenery of Carl Schurz Park, preferred the hardness of the street and the echoing brick side of the Sanitation Department building for their handball and stickball. "They will sit on your steps," one neighbor warned. "They broke a window of mine playing ball," said another. "If you are nice to them, they will steal from you" was the verdict of a third. This was a Thursday after we had moved in. My boys were new to the city, and Stephen was morose over the loss of country friends and freedom and openly anxious over the well-publicized dangers of city living. Despite his height and strength, the prestige of a whole house in the city of New York in which to live, and a brand-new bike, he was actually quite timid in his new environment. It was the housekeeper's day off, and I was preparing dinner in the kitchen. "Please take out the garbage, Stephen," I requested. Somewhat warily, he opened the door and started to lift the heavy garbage can out to the street level for the morning collection. The kids at the fence watched him, and then one reached forward and said, "Hey, kid, want me to help?" Stephen, elegant in his blue blazer with the heraldic device of his private school, merely shook his head and, /•'ami/I/ Weekly, July S6, 1964 'UlUSTtATION BY ETHEL GOLD

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