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As I toiled upstairs one morning in my grandparents’ house, a rumbling angry voice broke the silence. I couldn’t make out the words, but the emotion couldn’t be misread, even by an eight-year-old. I hesitated, but my need to pee made a visit to the lavatory imperative. Luckily the volcanic tirade, punctuated by the popping of the gas water heater, was coming from behind the closed bathroom door. I crept past and shut myself into the separate toilet. But then–a new problem—if I pulled the chain and released the water the noise would certainly alert my grandfather to my presence. And what about washing my hands? In the event, I chose secrecy over training and cleanliness and scurried away to the safety of downstairs and escape to school.
Born in 1875, Grandfather had grown up in the reign of Victoria and by the 1940’s was elderly not only in the…
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