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February 24, 1962, publication of the short story "A Short Walk from the Station." The New Yorker. The Cape Cod Lighter.

On his way home from work Francis King leaves the commuter train in a Philadelphia suburb but finds himself too weak to walk the three blocks to his family home. Instead he stops to rest at The Tack Room, a shop owned by Lydia Brown, who happens to have been an old flame.

Francis and Lydia had broken up thirty years before; they had not spoken in all that time since, although Francis, in returning home each evening, walks past her shop (averting his eyes).

She give him a glass of brandy; their first conversation in over thirty years is not easy.

"Look at me. What am I? Close to sixty years old, no chance of ever having children and I love children. An apartment over my shop instead of a nice home of my own."

                                               Where the Stories Are

In these collections:

The Doctor's Son and Other Stories (1935).
Files on Parade (1939)
Pipe Night (1945)
Hellbox (1947)
Sermons and Soda Water: A Trilogy of Three Novellas (1960)
Assembly (1961)
The Cape Cod Lighter (1962)
The Hat on the Bed (1963)
The Horse Knows the Way 
Waiting for Winter (1966)
And Other Stories (1968)
The Time Element and Other Stories (1972)
Good Samaritan and Other Stories (1974)
Gibbsville, Pa. (1992)
John O'Hara's Hollywood (2007)

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