Nils Peterson: Talk in the Reading Room
About Nils Peterson

 The Reading Room
 Xmas Eve at the Big House 
 Christmas Mysteries 
Summers in Long Island 
Father Arrives in the    Triumphal Car 
 Yankee Stadium Gone 
 A Thing of Beauty 
 Learning From My Father 
 Learning From My Mother 
The Bus


 Next Stop 
 Going to College
 My Lecture on Romanticism 
 A Story 
 Go Way From My Window 
• Singing in the Rain 
 On the Nature of Exposition 
 A Latin Class
 A Hero's Life
 Letter to Paul Cantrell
• Homecoming 
 The Moon and the Bulldozer


Father Arrives in the Triumphal Car

After the war began, my father left his job as chauffeur and began working at Mack Motors. Capable people got promoted fast, and soon my father was in charge of making fire engines. We moved to our own house, actually right across the street from Bruce Held, a friend from the fourth grade. I had spotted the house on a visit to him after school and suggested to my parents that we look at it. Bruce’s father was the principal of the high school I would briefly attend


Astride a red cacophony of siren and bell, home comes the father driving a new fire engine. Its high leather seat is more red than the long red sweep of fender. The yellow ladders are snapped in place as are the black hoses with their shiny silver nozzles. The trim around the door cutouts is real gold “to airy thinness beat.”

The shocked brown neighbor houses take a step back, and Bruce Held across the street with his attic full of Alpine villages and electric trains is envious at last.


father and the fire engine

  © 2014, Nils Peterson

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