After getting his PhD and when I was a sophmore in high school, Dad was hired as Acadmic Dean at Northwestern College in Iowa. A temporary rental was provided until we could buy our own home. We knew one thing for sure. The Dutch were clean; we wouldn't have to worry about bedbugs. The house was so bad, Dad fixed a bucket for a toilet.

Orange CIty, solid Dutch and American Reformed, was for me survival of a different kind. The black girls at Slauson slammed you into the lockers--but it was nothing personal. These "Christian girls" were personal, and my older sister and I learned how to paste on a smile until our cheeks ached.

Fortunately, the summer I was 17, I nearly died from asthma. This proved to be my ticket out of town.

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