November 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
As a young girl, I wanted in the worst way to stay at my grandmother’s house in the city for a few days in the summer. “The city” was Melrose Park, Ill., a run-down, urbanized, predominantly black and Italian suburb of Chicago. I was 10. My mother refused, for whatever reasons mothers have; maybe she thought I would become a “city kid” or, worse, a Catholic. She sentenced me to more days in hot, rural, farm-country Illinois, days I spent bored and sweaty.