Tharren Appleton
Excerpts From “About Tharren”
  Penny and Paul

I really liked living in New York.  I had cousins that lived in
Brooklyn and we would visit them a lot.  It would take us hours
to get to their apartment on the bus and subway, but to me that was one of the best parts of the trip.  One of the things I liked about Brooklyn was that it seemed like there was a deli on every corner.  I loved freshly cut deli lunchmeat.  I also liked to get food from the Jamaican-owned restaurants.  My favorite thing to get was a beef patty, which is some kind of bread with seasoned beef stuffed in it.  Another thing I remember about Brooklyn was that every time we went to visit my cousins, there was a bloody spot somewhere on their block, where someone had just been shot and killed.  My cousins lived on a busy street and people would just walk past or over the blood like they didn’t even see it. 

In New York my family and I lived in a house with my mother’s boyfriend Penny, Penny’s brother Alfred, and Penny’s son Paul.  Penny was a tall, thin, dark-skinned man.  He kind of looked like a boxer because he was very muscular, from many years of working at a horse racetrack.  I think he baled hay because he always came home with hay all over his clothes and hair.  He also had a stutter that I thought was pretty funny.  He would always stamp his right foot and say, “Ahra..ahra..ahra..” before he could get any words out of his mouth.  Paul was a tall white boy with blond hair that was always freshly cut into a fade.  It looked like the haircut that Vanilla Ice used to wear back in the day.  However, it was years before Vanilla Ice came out.  Paul’s mother married Penny when she was pregnant with Paul, so he was raised by Penny.

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