From the June 2001 magazine.

I Never Had It So Good

I was the youngest of five children. My brother was the oldest, fifteen years older than I. When I was eight, he came home from Princeton with his entourage for a house party. Mother was out of town visiting friends. The college gang set up their tapper in the kitchen. I was told that you had to acquire a taste for beer. I took one sip and acquired a taste for it. A friend of mine, a fellow three years older than I, sneaked cups of beer until we were both drunk. I can still remember the hangover, which lasted almost two days.

When I was eleven, my wonderful brother died in a boating accident. The boat blew up, and Roy was severely burned, although he lived for two weeks. That was the summer the Morro Castle burned off the Jersey coast. My grandfather died a month after Roy. Father chose that autumn to leave for good, since he had fallen in love with another woman.

-- Dossie P.

Aptos, California

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