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February 24, 2006
"We were so poor,"he says, "that we used to boil stains out of the tablecloth and our shirts every Sunday night to make soup to last the whole week. That's all we ate.-

"But if that's all you ate,"I say, " then what was there to leave these stains in the first place?-

He pulls deeply on his scratched-up pipe and stares at me, watery eyes narrowed, through cherry tobacco smoke. After what seems like ten minutes, he peers down at the "clicker-, and changes the channel to "What's My Line?" We watch game shows in silence until bedtime.