Home Notable Ithacan-Americans The original quintessential tiny town poem by Dick Lourie

The original quintessential tiny town poem by Dick Lourie

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Photo by Kathy Morris

Here's the Poem by Dick Lourie, a tiny towner before there ever wuzza:

What it's Like Living in Ithaca New York (thanks to Margaret McCasland for posting on Facebook)

here's what it's like: let's say you have just had lunch someplace in Collegetown and you are on your way to Karl Jaentsch's garage with your VW because yesterday you noticed the brakes were beginning to fade

you start down Buffalo Street hill it looks like rain now after a sunny morning: when you slow down for the blinking yellow light at Stewart Avenue those brakes are not good

and it gets worse that huge old green house on the corner of Fountain Place and then the shiny face of the Terrace Hill Apartments flash by you like the past

you feel terror in your wrists your stomach and you know

those brakes are gone and you won't be able to stop at the red light on Aurora
where there are several people leisurely crossing your path: maybe on their way from the Unitarian Church to Hal's Delicatessen or they just left their own apartment to go buy flowers or whatever errands we do all day -- in any case there they are and you can't stop

so this is what it's like: as if your brakes had failed and you couldn't avoid running right through that crowd knocking them all apart-- panic broken limbs and screams in the street

well the chances are that on any given day at least one of these people would be somebody you had quarreled with last year and hadn't spoken to since or a friend you had visited only last week or even the person you were once married to yourself who would see just before impact that it was you

that's what it's like living in Ithaca

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