Excerpts from BOOK OF NO LEDGE by Nance Van Winckel

Excerpts from BOOK OF NO LEDGE
by Nance Van Winckel

As usual it starts with love. I had my heart set on the door-to-door encyclopedia sales boy. Maybe 18 or 19, he said he was working his way through college. He winked a turquoise eye at me and asked if I was the “lady of the house.”

Well, I wasn’t. I was 13-going-on-17 and vaguely trying to flirt. My mother came out on the porch to see who I was talking to, and NO, she said, we don’t need any books. She smiled, though, and wished him luck in school.

I followed him down the walk and told him to come back tomorrow after I’d had a chance to “work on” my mother. Sure, he shrugged, why not.

I could really use those encyclopedias for my school projects, I told my mother later. And so could Sally (my sister). My dad was suddenly behind it. His family had been a bit more “bookish” than my mother’s.