The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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We go back to the day I was born, in the time after the Industrial Revolution. The houses were built for the mill workers, and as I look back I am amazed at the order of things. It was hilly with streets of houses all built of stone. We had no hot water until we boiled it on the stove. My home had three bedrooms and there were thirteen steps to come down so the ceilings were not too low. The living room was in the front of the house to the wide street. Next comes the kitchen, where we spent our time doing everyday things. Then we go down to the cellar, where there was a big gas boiler and a wringing machine and two big tubs. There was a window and a stone sink and a compartment at the end where the coal came in from the front of the house outside.

I think about how someone had come to do all of these things. In the house the water was sent through the pipe to the outside as it went down the steps to the toilet. There was a bowl under the floor and when the water filled up, the bowl would flush. So that was the first of its kind in that time, and I thought it was rather cool. I can remember the men who come to put electricity in all the houses. So there are no wires overhead.

When I was growing up we used to vacation in Scarborough on the coast of Yorkshire. I used to love to go barefoot like the children who lived there. People used to go to the shore around the country then. Now they all go abroad.

When I went to school, I had to learn to knit. I did not like it. The teacher said if you drop a stitch you can sit and wait your turn. So I dropped a few stitches. One day I had to collect all the work, and a boy was there. It was lunchtime. He had some matches, so I said come with me. I took him to the place where we kept the knitting. And we set it on fire, only it was wool, and it smouldered--of course. In the afternoon the smoke was coming out of the cupboard. He got a good spanking. I watched him from round the door.

His name was George.

George Gets Spanked

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We go back to the day I was born, in the time after the Industrial Revolution. The houses were built for the mill workers, and as I look back I am amazed at the order of things. It was hilly with streets of houses all built of stone. We had no hot water until we boiled it on the stove. My home had three bedrooms and there were thirteen steps to come down so the ceilings were not too low. The living room was in the front of the house to the wide street. Next comes the kitchen, where we spent our time doing everyday things. Then we go down to the cellar, where there was a big gas boiler and a wringing machine and two big tubs. There was a window and a stone sink and a compartment at the end where the coal came in from the front of the house outside.

I think about how someone had come to do all of these things. In the house the water was sent through the pipe to the outside as it went down the steps to the toilet. There was a bowl under the floor and when the water filled up, the bowl would flush. So that was the first of its kind in that time, and I thought it was rather cool. I can remember the men who come to put electricity in all the houses. So there are no wires overhead.

When I was growing up we used to vacation in Scarborough on the coast of Yorkshire. I used to love to go barefoot like the children who lived there. People used to go to the shore around the country then. Now they all go abroad.

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Recorded by Marcus Kunkle on August 20, 2014
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