Treasuring the things we take for granted….Remember travel? I come from the American Express check era. The first foreign country I spent time in was Italy. In Piazza di Spagna there was an American Express office and I stood in line with many others to cash the check and to change to lira. 600 Lira were the equivalent of a dollar. The Italian currency was gorgeous and enormous. The 10,000 lira note was like a billboard. The 500 lira coin was beautiful, heavy metal. Change was scarce so we were often given candies, trinkets instead. Very annoying at the time but a funny memory. I lived in a Victorian house off Via Salaria. My roommates and I took the octagonal elevator with etched windows and a padded seat to the fifth floor after we had fed a coin machine in the elevator several 10 lira coins and smacked the machine sharply.
Another travel memory: the Egyptian House in Penzance. This is enchanting. It’s been owned by the Landmark Trust since the 1970s and was built in the 1850s, shortly after Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt.
Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder.
Millie Fitzgerald applies for a Windsor School teaching job, faints on a dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.
Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to Singapore? She tells Millie.
Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college.