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"Great Aunt Margaret, who had spent her whole life in Brooklyn, moved, at 70-something, to southern California in order to be near her one remaining sister, my grandmother. Gramma lived in Leisure World, a giant senior suburb just inland from Laguna Beach. Margaret asked, 'So where is the bakery, the butcher shop?' 'There,' we said, pointing to a great gleaming Safeway down the road.

'Oh, no,' she said, stretching her neck liked an offended ostrich, arching her eyebrows and pitching her voice as only a person from Brooklyn can do, 'That won't do. That won't do at all.'"


January 2001