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“Why I miss the trolley cars. Because unlike everything and everybody else in the U.S. they did not swerve from their ancient path. And because as a boy (thousands of years ago) I went to Coney Island in a trolley car, and saw grass growing between the tracks and because it was an open trolley, with the conductor on the side hopping from row to row to collect his fares (his left arm holding the rail as he hopped) and because it seemed to me then (as does not happen now on the bus) that the other passengers were all my family, all Brooklyn. And because as we neared the sea, and could see its blue glare on the surface, everyone (at least in the back row) burst out singing.”

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source: May 21, 1984 entry in Alfred Kazin’s Journals, selected and edited by Richard M. Cook (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2011), 504.

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