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Showing posts from March, 2012

A Victory for School Lunches

No matter how early it is in the morning or how late the hour of the afternoon, deep musky notes of an unmarketable perfume remain stuffed at the tips of my nasal passages. It isn’t a gentle wafting of lightly scented flowers, or a flowing breeze of grandma – ma’s mouthwatering cookies or the acrid nose pinching smell of ammonia.
It was the odor of thousands of public school lunches from many yesterdays, of boiled hot dogs and over boiled red baked beans poured from industrialized drums of institutionalized food bleached into pale cinderblock walls and floors of the cafeteria and in my nostrils. With the heat turned up during the clammy winters at Brooklyn’s P.S. 306 in East New York, these dark funky smells were released like heavy clouds of ozone that couldn’t be brushed away. Hot dogs and beans were not part of my diet because my mother felt that her lunches were better than the culinary treats of the government sponsored lunch program. And it was cool to carry a lunchbox. We lived i…