Leg of Lamb

David Gadd // Los Angeles, CA

As a teenager in the mid-1930s, my late father worked in a small grocery in a coal camp in southern West Virginia. The local coal company physician, Dr. Levine, was the only Jew in a town of staunch Baptists (and a few Catholic Italians, who grew strange vegetables and were suspected of idolatry).

Every other week, the good doctor would phone the store to place his regular order for a leg of lamb. My father and his grocer employer knew exactly what this meant. At age 15 and without a driver’s license, my dad would rev up the old black hand-cranked Dodge pick-up truck and deliver a plump ham, neatly wrapped in butcher paper and string, to Dr. Levine’s house, high up on the hill.


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