“A Boy Grew In Brooklyn” by Arthur Miller — March 1955

Holiday magazine, March 1955

Nobody can know Brooklyn, because Brooklyn is the world, and besides it is filled with cemeteries, and who can say he knows those people? But even aside from the cemeteries it is impossible to say that one knows Brooklyn. Three blocks from my present house live two hundred Mohawk Indians. A few blocks from them are a group of Arabs living in tenements in one of which is published an Arabic newspaper. When I lived on Schermerhorn Street I used to sit and watch the Moslems holding services in a tenement back yard outside my window, and they had a real Moorish garden, symmetrically planted with curving lines of white stones laid out in the earth, and they would sit in white robes—twenty or thirty of them, eating at a long table, and served by their women who wore the flowing purple and rose togas of the East. All these people, plus the Germans, Swedes, Jews, Italians, Lebanese, Irish, Hungarians and more, created the legend of Brooklyn’s patriotism, and it has often seemed to me that their having been thrown together in such abrupt proximity is what gave the place such a Balkanized need to proclaim its never-achieved oneness.

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“KENTUCKY” by A.B. Guthrie, Jr. – March 1951

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Way West” brings you the saga of a great state, homeland of bluegrass, bourbon, and beautiful women

The typical Kentuckian is a goateed colonel with a thirst.

He is a barefoot mountain boy with an itchy finger on a flintlock. He’s the owner of a mortgaged plantation and a Thoroughbred foal with the look of eagles in its eyes.

He’s a backwoods demagogue who can’t spell demagogue. He’s a Southern gentleman.

He’s a private enterpriser, a dealer in corn squeezin’s, and no revenooer better show his nose.

He’s Abner, Devil Anse Hatfield, the Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, Private Tussie, Happy Chandler, and Gracious Living by Ancestry out of Bluegrass by Or Virginny.

He is all these things, and so, of course, he’s none of them. Kentucky?

Its a heaven of a place (or, to give proper order to an old com­parison, heaven is a Kaintuck of a place).

It’s a brier patch.

It’s Dark and Bloody Ground.

It’s bluegrass and juleps and women fair beyond the fortune of any other realm, not excepting the Egyptian.

It is eroded and sequestered hillsides; it is coal mines in the moun­tains; it is race tracks in the great meadow.

It’s all these and none of them, typically, either.

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“A JOURNEY TO MARS” by Arthur C. Clarke – March 1953

Here’s what it will be like to travel through space, in the words of an expert on interplanetary travel

IN the fall of 1942 two events occurred which set Man’s feet firmly on the road to the stars. The first V-2 climbed to the limit of the at­mosphere, ushering in the age of rocket propulsion—and beneath a squash court in the University of Chicago, atomic energy crept secretly into a world totally unprepared for it.

During the next fifty years, building on this foundation, we will acquire the knowledge and techniques necessary to take us beyond the atmosphere—the know-how of space flight. Chemical fuels are already available which can establish the “artificial satellite,” our first stepping stone into space. They may even be sufficient for scientific reconnaissances of the Moon and nearer planets, though at enormous expense. Truly practical space flight, however, must await the harness­ing of the atom to rocket propulsion. Already at least two ways of achieving this are known, in theory; and when a thing can be done in theory, it is only a matter of time before it becomes reality.

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“JALOPIES I CURSED AND LOVED” by John Steinbeck – July 1954

RECENTLY I drove from Garrison-on-Hudson to New York on a Sunday afternoon, one unit in a creeping parade of metal, miles and miles of shiny paint and chrome inching along bumper to bumper. There were no old rust heaps, no jalopies. Every so often we passed a car pulled off the road with motor trouble, its driver and passengers waiting patiently for a tow car or a mechanic.

Not one of the drivers seemed even to consider fixing the difficulty. I doubted that anyone knew what the trouble was.

On this funereal tour I began to think of old times and old cars. Understand, I don’t want to go back to those old dogs. Any more than I want to go back to that old poverty. I love the fine efficient car I have. Rut at least I remembered. I remembered a time when you fixed your own car or you didn’t go any place. I remembered cars I had owned and cursed and hated and loved.

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“LIVING IN A TRAILER” by James Jones – July 1952

THE FIRST TIME you tow a house trailer you keep jerking the wheel to compensate for that crazy sway in the back end. It takes a long time to get enough used to it to ignore it. The first haul I ever made with mine—a trip that, although I didn’t know it then, turned out to be the first leg of a junket that would take me clear across the country and back and consume a year and a half—was to Memphis, Tennessee, from my home in Illinois. That’s about 400 miles, and it took me four days to make it. A year and a half later, on my way home from California, I hauled from Tucson, Arizona, to El Paso in one day. I had left a green-eared neophyte, and I was coming back a veteran. There is no pride in the world more rabid than that of a confirmed and dedicated trailerite. The next winter I took my trailer to Florida in four days, just about 1,200 miles.

In between those trips was a year and a half spent living a couple of months in one town after another, one state after another, one trailer park after another, all the way from Memphis to the West Coast, and always in my own home.

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