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Unformatted text preview: reprieve. At an unfortunate time, good
luck had somehow found its way into his painting business. People with blinds were desperate enough to enlist
his services to paint them. His problem was that black paint was normally used more as a mixer, to darken other
colors, and it was soon depleted and hard to find. What he did have was the knack of being a good tradesman,
and a good tradesman has many tricks. He took coal dust and stirred it through, and he worked cheap. There
were many houses in all parts of Molching in which he confiscated the window light from enemy eyes.
On some of his workdays, Liesel went with him.
They carted his paint through town, smelling the hunger on some of the streets and shaking their heads at the
wealth on others. Many times, on the way home, women with nothing but kids and poverty would come running
out and plead with him to paint their blinds.
“Frau Hallah, I’m sorry, I have no black paint left,” he would say, but a little farther down the road, he would
always break. There was tall man and long street. “Tomorrow,” he’d promise, “first thing,” and when the next
morning dawned, there he was, painting those blinds for nothing, or for a cookie or a warm cup of tea. The
previous evening, he’d have found another way to turn blue or green or beige to black. Never did he tell them to
cover their windows with spare blankets, for he knew they’d need them when winter came. He was even known
to paint people’s blinds for half a cigarette, sitting on the front step of a house, sharing a smoke with the
occupant. Laughter and smoke rose out of the conversation before they moved on to the next job.
When the time came to write, I remember clearly what Liesel Meminger had to say about that summer. A lot of
the words have faded over the decades. The paper has suffered from the friction of movement in my pocket, but
still, many of her sentences have been impossible to forget.
A SMALL SAMPLE OF SOME
That summer was a new beginning, a new...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13