By Dinah Lenney
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Extra resources for Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir (American Lives)
My father quit massaging his arm and chewed a cuticle on the side of his thumb. I was still shaking my head over my grandfather’s having bailed him out, and I wondered out loud why he did it. The light turned green and somebody honked behind me. “He knew I couldn’t do it, Dinah. ” Gee. No scruples. No honor. No cheerleading, no slap on the wrist, no nothing. Just get it done however you can. I was winding my way north again, up a street shaded under long rows of gnarled California oaks. “I’ll tell you something else, but if you ever tell another soul, I’ll deny it,” he warned with a squint in my direction.
Glad to hear that. Good. Good. Looks good. Good. Saw that show. You were good. A crook, a hero, a fool, a nutcase. Don’t I keep saying? Get a regular job, stay out of stocks, put your money in real estate, and pick up some decent tomatoes, will you, I’ll wait in the car. ” I was giving him a tour of Hancock Park. He’d come to stay with us for a few days maybe six miles to the east, where we still live in the hills just west of Dodger Stadium. Back then, before the gentriﬁcation of Echo Park, there was seldom a Saturday night when we didn’t fall asleep to salsa and Mariachi rhythms and a symphony of howling dogs.
Pull over,” he ordered, somewhere along leafy Route in Bergen County, the northern part of New Jersey, well away from the Hudson River and Route , lined with strip malls and factories and fast food. “Now look,” he said, just a tad Driving Lessons | contemptuous, having traded seats with me, having adjusted his headrest and the radio, and having entered the highway all over again just before the curve in the road where I’d demonstrated my ignorance. “You don’t pull to the right in one big jerk, see, you take it in increments like so,” and one-handed, he pulled and released, pulled and released, making the turn in a smooth arc, never mind the staggered, staccato movements at the wheel.
Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir (American Lives) by Dinah Lenney