It was not in the least bad for business that the office was a homey place where you could kick off your shoes. It was wonderful. It made us a sort of family, and that’s why and how I remember everyone I worked with. Like Peggy Treffinger, a part-timer working her way through Southampton College. Nicest, cheeriest person ever to walk the earth. You couldn’t not be in a good mood around her. We went to see “Chariots of the Gods” together. Peggy died in a New Year’s Eve car crash in Water Mill the following year. Thank you for indulging me—just seemed like a good time to tell Peggy I’ve never forgotten her.
I haven’t seen that old house in years. It’s probably changed some. Surely the photostat machine, an antique even then, must be long gone—on cold winter mornings the first person in would turn on the camera to thaw frozen hands until the heat came up and the coffee was done. Footsteps thumped and scuffed on the worn oak floors, and the narrow old staircase creaked badly—you certainly couldn’t sneak up or down.
The floors and stairs have most likely seen some renovation since then. No doubt other facelifts have been perpetrated as well. They’d only have amounted to cosmetic changes, though. The same old heart would still be beating there at the house where Dan’s Papers grew up.
Maybe the new facilities in Southampton are very nice. Maybe I’ll go have a look some day. Maybe not.
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