- 1. Maxine ClarkCollege Writing SeminarVisual Narrative Essay A Little Pith and Vinegarfor the Melting Pot
2. Like most British kids,my only knowledge ofAmerica was drawnfrom movies andtelevision programs.We had three channelsto choose from: BBC1,BBC2 and ITV. 3. Rainy Sundays oftenfound us watching dustyold Westerns. Seeingall of that sand, thecanyons and earth tonesmade my tongue dry uplike clay. 4. My imagination wentwild at the prospect ofa new life in America.What I didnt take intoaccount was all thatwe would leave behind. 5. Cousins 6. My paternalgrandparents didnttake the news well. Iwas particularly sad toleave them because theylavished gifts on us, likethis fan and castanetsfrom one of their tripsto Spain. 7. Nana and Grandad 8. My father insisted that wenot smile in our passportpictures. I couldnt help it! Hehad to keep feeding more andmore money into the coinslot. He was not pleased.I was primed for a perfectlydespondent shot. 9. When I said goodbye to myhamster Christmas, she bit myfingertip. I couldnt believe myown hamster had rejected me.I left my toy dog Cokey in ourold house for the new peopleand immediately regretted it.The day was off to a bad start. 10. Cokey Christmas 11. My brother and I wereinvited up into the cockpitand given honoraryBritish Airways Junior JetClub passbooks to enterour future BritishAirways trips. Of whichthere would be none. 12. On the drive fromthe airport, Icontinued to retchwhile taking in thesights of Route Oneout the sidewindow. Past theHilltop with itsplastic cows grazingthe side of thehighway . . . 13. Within mere hours ofarrival, I realized we couldvery well starve to death.We were offered Dr. Pepperor Ginger Ale to drink butthey were too spicy forour bland palates. 14. + = 15. Letting go was hard and Imissed England for along time. I felt like Iwas always drawingcomparisons betweenEnglish and Americanculture and choosingsides. 16. On September 23, 1994 inConcord, NH I was sworn inas an American citizen, whenin actuality, becoming anAmerican has been a gradualprocess occuring over thecourse of my life here. 17. My husband and I weremarried in the Rose Gardenat Lynch Park in Beverly on abeautiful June day in 1999.Weve been to Englandtogether. Twice.Weve also been to DisneyWorld. Four times. 18. We bought our home in thesame neighborhood myfamily moved to back in1978. 19. My old house19 Deerhurst, StanshaweEstate in Yate 20. Our comparatively palatial estate in Beverly 21. Our daughter was born inDecember 2003, and ateight years old, she isnow attending the sameschool I did when I washer age. 22. I finally feel like this iswhere I belong.