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This article is taken from PN Review 159, Volume 31 Number 1, September - October 2004.

Brooklyn's Ample Hill Alice Wooledge Salmon

The impalpable sustenance of me from all things at all hours of the day,
The simple, compact, well-join'd scheme, myself disintegrated, every
    one disintegrated yet part of the scheme,
The similitudes of the past and those of the future
                                                                    Walt Whitman, `Crossing Brooklyn Ferry' (1856)

I wanted... to write about the people close about me: ... That is the poet's business. Not to talk in vague categories but to write particularly, as a physician works, upon a patient, upon the thing before him, in the particular to discover the universal.
                                                                    Dr William Carlos Williams, Autobiography (1951)

Brooklyn has all the luck.
                                                                    Lewis Mumford, `The Skyline' (1935)

By late November of 1933, Franklin Roosevelt's `new deal' for Americans had been rousing that shattered and fearful nation, economically stricken from effects of the Depression, for some nine restorative months. Along the East Coast, college football was in full play, and one afternoon at Baker Field stadium, Columbia University, on Manhattan's Morningside Heights, my parents, Alice Stürcke and Pierre Salmon, were introduced.

`I remember her looking so very beautiful,' says my aunt Hilda, who had casually `fixed up' her friend with her brother, not really thinking `that this was a "twosome". We wore hats, as always, and Alice arrived in a silver fox shawl. She would slip it off and put it over her arm - and Pierre was just taken!'

By the year's end, ...


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