A Memory Revived by Citizen of the Month

From Our House to Your House

By Jack Ridl

It is 1959. It is the cusp of the coming revolution.
We still like Ike. We are still afraid of Sputnik.
We read Life magazine and Sports Illustrated
where the athletes grow up shooting hoops
in the driveway, playing catch in the backyard.
We sit on our sectional sofa. My mother loves
Danish modern. Our pants have cuffs. Our hair
is short. We are smiling and we mean it. I am
a guard. My father is my coach. I am sitting
next to him on the bench. I am ready to go in.
My sister will cheer. My mother will make
the pre-game meal from The Joy of Cooking.
Buster is a good dog. We are all at an angle.
We are a family at an angle. Our clothes are
pressed. We look into the eye of the camera.
“Look ‘em in the eye,” my father teaches us.
All we see ahead are wins, good grades,
Christmas. We believe in being happy. We
believe in mowing the lawn, a two-car garage,
a freezer, and what the teacher says. There is
nothing on the wall. We are facing away
from the wall. The jungle is far from home.
Hoses are for cleaning the car, watering
the gardens. My sister walks to school. My
father and I lean into the camera. My mother
and sister sit up straight. Ike has kept us
safe. In the spring, we will have a new car,
a Plymouth Fury with whitewalls and a vinyl top.

The blog to refer to...


  1. Hi Annie! I am almost old enough to remember this stuff, but my family was never the ideal, so I cannot relate. Lovely writing though, I can see it all so clearly.

  2. That poem really talks about a world that was maybe true, for some folks, but definitely one that a certain faction believes was the norm for everyone. I read the blog that inspired this post. It feels like we all spend time trying to make the world into something it never was and never will be. Sigh.

  3. Hello! I might be reading too much into it, but I think the author knows that the America of the 1950's and up to November 1963 had undercurrents and different realities. But when you're a kid what you know is the daily of your life. It's only when you see the bigger picture that you realize how naive you were.


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