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A Good American by Alex George

By Alex George

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Everything he'd noticeable were unimaginably assorted from the dry, dour streets of domestic, and to his shock he used to be now not sorry within the slightest. He was once enthusiastic about the beguiling otherness of all of it.

And so all started my grandfather's rapturous love affair with America—an affair that might proceed until eventually the day he died.

This is the tale of the Meisenheimer family members, advised by way of James, a third-generation American residing in Beatrice, Missouri. It's the place his German grandparents—Frederick and Jette—found themselves after traveling around the turbulent Atlantic, fording the flood-swollen Mississippi, and being delivered to a unexpected halt by way of the damaged water of the pregnant Jette.

A sturdy American tells of Jette's dogged choice to feed a city sauerkraut and soul nutrition; the loves and losses of her youngsters, Joseph and Rosa; and the precocious voices of James and his brothers, occasionally raised in discord...sometimes in excellent concord.

But mainly, A sturdy American is concerning the track in Frederick's middle, a track that started as an aria, was once jazzed by way of ragtime, and have become an anthem of affection for his followed state that the kinfolk nonetheless hears to this present day.

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Kill him! Kill him! When the man had had enough of beating me, he loaded me onto a wheelbarrow, carted me down to the river, and dumped me into the reeds, swearing such terrible things as I would have wished never to hear. Some kind of animal drew near me. I turned over with a moan. The animal didn’t budge. I stretched out my arm to touch it and felt an icy hand: I was lying next to a dead soldier. My bones ached, but I made an effort to overcome the pain and attempted to roll farther down the bank.

They drank straight from the bottle. The black-haired guy wiped his mouth and asked: Did Isabel cry much? Shut up. She must have cried a lot. Shut up. I didn’t think 56 WAR, SO MUCH WAR you could possibly leave her . . I don’t want to marry without an arm. I returned the postcard with the pomegranate. The one with the black hair said, when the war’s over we’ll look for a lame fellow who can play the guitar and we’ll sing about her as we make the rounds of the villages. We’ll tell people we laughed at the bullets and the bombs.

Three doors gave onto the landing. I chose the middle one. The room seemed to have been built for giants, with a hearth for giants. Another room followed with a table in the middle in the shape of a counter; some thirty iron soldiers armed with lances were positioned between the huge windows and on either side of the doors. Another room, resembling a corridor, had twelve windows facing the sea; the opposite wall was covered with bits of broken mirror. As I was studying the wall that shattered me to pieces as though I were merely a composite of shards, I noticed the scent for the first time: the smell of the yellow roses from our rosebush at home that climbed all the way up to the railing on the rooftop terrace.

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