A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland Indiana by Haven Kimmel

By Haven Kimmel

While Haven Kimmel was once born in 1965, Mooreland, Indiana, was once a sleepy little hamlet of 3 hundred humans. Nicknamed "Zippy" for a way she could bolt round the condo, this small woman used to be possessed of massive eyes or even higher ears. during this witty and lovingly advised memoir, Kimmel takes readers again to a time whilst small-town the US was once stuck within the amber of the blameless postwar period--people helped their buddies, went to church on Sunday, and stored barnyard animals of their backyards.

Laced with advantageous storytelling, sharp wit, dead-on observations, and moments of sheer pleasure, Haven Kimmel's straight-shooting portrait of her early life supplies us a heroine who's splendidly candy and sly as she navigates the quirky grownup global that surrounds Zippy.

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Ordered that second carafe with a lazy flick of the hand, paid the bill carelessly and wondered how I would conceal it on my expense account the next day. The former priest Mr. Bryan was not a bad conversationalist, with a fondness for poetry and the quotation of same. Outside in the street, importuned by gypsy taxi drivers, I used the word “fuck” for the first time in my mother’s presence, and felt her both bridling 22 a bit and shrugging amusedly at the inevitability of it. At any rate, I could tell that she was happy to be in the metropolis, and happy, too, that I liked her new man well enough.

I do have a heroic memory of him from my boyhood, and it happens to concern water. We were at a swimming-pool party, held at the local golf and country club that was almost but not quite out of our social orbit, when I heard a splash and saw the Commander fully clothed in the shallow end, pipe still clamped in his mouth. I remember hoping that he had not fallen in, in front of all these people, because of the gin. Then I saw that he was holding a little girl in his arms. She had been drowning, quietly, just outside her depth, until someone had squealed an alarm and my father had been the speediest man to act.

He was fi fty-two and looked seventy, with an almost grannyish trembling and protruding lower lip and a quivering hand that spilled his avgolemono soup down his already well-encrusted shirtfront. Difficult to picture him as the boy who had once so insouciantly compared himself to Carole Lombard. I had only a few weeks previously gone to Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford to attend Auden’s memorial. My dear friend James Fenton, who had been a protégé of Auden’s and a sometime guest at the Auden-Kallman home in Kirchstetten, had just won the Eric Gregory Award for poetry and decided to invest the prize money in an intrepid voyage to Vietnam that was to yield its own poetic harvest, so I had gone back to Oxford in part to represent him in his absence, as well as to witness a gathering of poets and writers and literary figures, from Stephen Spender to Charles Monteith (discoverer of Lord of the Flies ), who were unlikely ever to gather in one place again.

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