A few years later, when I was about 9 years old, Grandma (in photo on left with daughters) moved to North Minneapolis, Minnesota and lived in a tiny 2-story “Gingerbread” house on 26th Avenue North. Mom and I stayed with her for a while. Mom occupied an upstairs bedroom and I in the basement. The basement smelled like a root cellar, had a fake bar on one end and hand-painted images of buildings on the
other. The images were of buildings in Downtown Minneapolis. One
such painting was The Foshay Tower, modeled after the Washington
Monument and completed in 1929 just before the stock market
Grandma’s Breath Smelled Like Licorice
Perceiving a need, apparently, Grandma made me go to St. Joseph Hien Catholic Church (she called it St. Joe’s) on Queen Avenue North and West Broadway in Minneapolis. Grandma’s breath smelled of Sen-Sen (a combination of licorice and mint) and she made damn sure mine did as well. The Sen-Sen used to come in tiny card-board boxes, which, it seemed like, she was always giving me on Sundays. The best part about going to St. Joe’s was walking to the altar and lighting up as many of the candles as she would allow. I can still picture them glowing as they burn through their red glass containers.
Do you go to church?
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