Three Stories


On July 20, 1929, publication of "Mr. Rosenthal." The New Yorker. Brownmiller and Hagedorn. Mr. Rosenthal is the benevolent older man lecturing the young Mr. Cleary, son of one of one of the founders, about various matters, such as getting to work on time and not taking long lunch breaks.

On July 20, 1935, publication of "Ice Cream." The New Yorker. Files on Parade. A short character study of a married couple living in a downtown New York City hotel. Harry, the husband, goes out for ice cream and meets his wife's first husband, a musician so down on his luck that he asks Harry for money. Here's the description of the wife:

   He turned in at one of the hotels and went up a flight of stairs to a street-front room. Inside lay a big mound of a woman, on the bed. Her face was made up, even to the blue eye-shadow; but her lip rouge, obviously put on in the same style she had used when her face was much smaller, did not make her face look smaller now. Her fingers and breasts were small, but the flesh rolled down the backs of her hands and over her ankles, and under the black net neglige she was huge in the hips and abdomen and thighs. She was smoking a cigarette . . .

On July 20, 1963, publication of "The Locomobile." The Hat on the Bed. Gibbsville, PA. George Denison has returned to Gibbsville to settle his late mother's estate. Here' part of the opening paragraph:

   Shortly after getting out of the army in 1919, George Denison gave - gave - his mother's Locomobile limousine to Arthur Gow, who had been the lady's chauffeur. The car was a beauty, purer in line than the Pierce Arrows and Packards that were generally chosen by women like Mrs. Denison. It was painted Brewster green, an it was the only one of its kind in the county. It had less than 15,000 miles on the odometer, six new Pennsylvania Vacuum cups to replace the original tires, and it would have fetched five thousand dollars in a trade-in if George Denison had wanted to bargain. But his mother had neglected to mention Arthur Gow in her will . . . and George Denison wanted to do something for Arthur.

(George Denison eventually learns why Mrs. Denison had omitted Arthur Dow from her will, and it's not because she had had an affair with him).  

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