Category Archives: John Flack

From the Outside

by John Flack

From the outside, the house, although a little worn, looks much as it did when I was a child; the inside, as I am about to discover, is not.  I cross the busy road and approach the front door. Continue reading

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Kitchen Smells Story

By John Flack

As Susan was instructing me in class to write about an event conjured up by the remembrance of a kitchen smell, forming almost as she spoke, was a long ago Thanksgiving dinner at my Gram mom’s house.  Why that, I can’t say, but since it happened so quickly I have decided to write about it.

I was young, around the age of 8, I believe, and my family was at my Gram mom and Gran pop’s house for Thanksgiving.  They were my dad’s parents.  I always liked their house better than ours.  It was, and is, three stories, semi-detached and made of red brick.  Then as now, there was a small yard between the house-wide front porch and the hedge abutting the sidewalk.  The house, the lawn, the hedge and the metal gate in the hedge were always well-maintained by Gran pop while he was alive.  The house and the lawn never changed and seemed ageless.  The road in front, crowded now with cars during rush hours, was much less travelled then.  It has a long history, being originally built by Swedish settlers in the early 1600s as a means of getting to the interior from their village in Upland, on the Delaware River.  It may be the oldest road into the interior of Pennsylvania.  The house was given as a gift to Gram mom and her new husband in 1913 by her parents who ran a business of some kind in downtown Media – the small town in which we all lived.  My father was born there on the second floor in 1917.  His sister, my Aunt Helen, was born in 1920, but I think she was born in a hospital.

As best I remember, it was late in the day around 3 or so when we parked out front, opened and closed the gate and entered the living room through the front door.  I imagine Gram mom had been in the kitchen prior to our arrival, preparing dinner and, although she is cooking a turkey, just like my mom did, the smells are different – to this day I remember the difference, although just like then, I can’t figure out why nor explain the difference.  I just know it was.  It is the only holiday meal I can recall eating at their house.  My gram mom was a very good cook and I remember enjoying it. Continue reading

An Object of Desire in My Life

By John Flack

Strange as it seems, I cannot come up with a single object that means much to me since I became a teenager. Prior to then, there were a few that are important to me, even today. There was my version of “Citizen Kane’s rosebud”, an illustrated book on space travel by Werner von Braun. There was also a model of a German WWII tank that I built, an American Flyer train set, as well as a collection of Philadelphia Phillies baseball cards from the 1950s. In looking back, there is clearly a difference between who I was and what I became before and after my father’s death that probably explains this. I will write about it someday. Continue reading