A family recipe, a childhood memory, a Depression-era handout
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Fred Wistow is an attorney and (as of the date of this publication) an ex-smoker. He lives in New York City.
Thrown into a new environment by a disorienting job relocation, I found myself among people who were, mysteriously for this health-conscious age, smoking. Equally mysteriously, I began to join them, at first not inhaling at all, but then, before I knew it, escalating to two fully inhaled packs a day.
When my mother screamed into the phone for me to get over there, “Daddy’s dead,” a long waiting period ended. My father’s failing health over several years had left him almost helpless; he had demanded and received from my mother as much care and supervision as a infant.