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Kennedy Square by Francis Hopkinson Smith
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Kennedy Square


F. Hopkinson Smith

Author's Preface:

"Kennedy Square, in the late fifties, was a place of birds and trees and
flowers; of rude stone benches, sagging arbors smothered in vines, and
cool dirt paths bordered by sweet-smelling box. Giant magnolias filled
the air with their fragrance, and climbing roses played hide-and-seek
among the railings of the rotting fence. Along the shaded walks laughing
boys and girls romped all day, with hoop and ball, attended by old black
mammies in white aprons and gayly colored bandannas; while in the more
secluded corners, sheltered by protecting shrubs, happy lovers sat and
talked, tired wayfarers rested with hats off, and staid old gentlemen
read by the hour, their noses in their books.

"Outside of all this color, perfume, and old-time charm; outside the
grass-line and the rickety wooden fence that framed them in, ran an
uneven pavement splashed with cool shadows and stained with green mould.
Here, in summer, the watermelon man stopped his cart; and there, in
winter, upon its broken bricks, old Moses unhooked his bucket of oysters
and ceased for a moment his droning call.

"On the shady side of the square, and half hidden in ivy, was a Noah's
Ark church, topped by a quaint belfry holding a bell that had not rung
for years, and faced by a clock-dial all weather-stains and cracks,