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Spoils Of War

March 2023
1min read

“I grew up in the fifties in a working-class
I neighborhood on Cleveland’s east side.” writes
I Margaret Lyzen, now living in North Carolina. “My father was killed in France during the Second World War, and money was scarce.
Our clothes were mostly secondhand, with patches
on top of patches painstakingly sewn on by our
mother. She remarried after the war. My stepdad
was a DP—displaced person—who emigrated to
the United States from Germany. Our little brother,
Alien, was born in 1951, and we adored him.

“So things were going better by the time this
photo was taken. It shows the three of us sitting
on my stepfather’s Pontiac on an autumn afternoon in 1952 wearing jackets just sent to us by
an uncle who was stationed in Japan. Their fronts
were embroidered with dragons and maps of Japan
and Korea, the backs read ‘38th parallel,’ and we
just loved them. I don’t know what happened to
them, but there we all are, grinning from ear to
ear, wearing our patched blue jeans and brand-new

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hundred dollars for each one that is run.

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