“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
To see the entire quote, click here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A tree grows in Dagenham

“See that! First tree planted in our street! I did that,” I said. Through the gaps in houses I pointed out a rusty red, wooden telegraph pole. This was implanted in the early seventies, when I ordered a phone for my parents’ home, the first on our road. At the time, the arrival, the hoisting and planting of the pole had caused no little stir. Our neighbors and people from nearby streets stood on the sidewalks and watched. In total silence. Even when wires were cast from the pole to the outside wall of our house. Fascinated and disinterested in equal measure, nobody asked what was going on, and we did not tell them. They might have thought we were bragging. Now of course, there were wires leading to other houses. And somehow, I don’t think the purchase of a cell phone today would have the same impact we created back then. Even in Dagenham.


Michelloui said...

My husband remembers when all the elms were cut down in Hornchurch. Not quite the same thing though I guess.

Ive linked to your toad in the hole post in my recent post, hope that's ok!

The Prodigal Tourist said...

Another Essex boy, ay? No problem about the link, hope your readers enjoy! Did you try it yourself?

Maggie said...

what a fun story!

Michelloui said...

Love my Essex boy! Haven't tried your recipe yet, but it's printed off and in That File With Recipes I Want To Try...