grudge n. a persistent feeling of ill will or resentmenthanded-down a. passed on to a later generation or age
The visible manifestation of how real a century-old conflict was in places where time passed slowly, grudges died hard, and handed-down memories hung on and on.
hairdo n. style of a person's haircrew cut n. a very short haircut for men and boys
He had a ducktail hairdo, crew cut on top, long hair greased back on the sides.
in full swing ad. in full operation, at the highest level of activityhomeroom n. a classroom in which a group of students assembles daily with the same teacher
In September 1960, the presidential campaign was in full swing; my homeroom and English teacher was also from Hope and, like me, a Democrat.
illusion n. a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpretedbite the dust v. fall so that your body hits the ground heavily, die, end in failure
I always thought I was good at math until I had to give up helping Chelsea with her homework when she was in ninth grade; an illusion bites the dust.
shackle n. something that confines the legs or armssegregation n. action or state of setting someone or something apart from others
In that late summer of 1957, they helped to set all of us, white and black alike, free from the dark shackles of segregation and discrimination.
obscene n. offensive or disgusting by accepted standards of morality and decencygyration n. a rapid movement in a circle or spiral; a whirling motion
Unlike most parents, who thought his gyrations obscene, Mother loved Elvis, too, maybe even more than I did.
egocentric a. thinking only of oneself, without regard for the feelings of others; self-centeredfoible n. a minor weakness in someone's character
His egocentric foibles didn’t bother me much, though we were as different as daylight and dark.
bead n. a small piece of glass or stone, typically rounded for threading rambunctious a. uncontrollably exuberant; boisterous, wild
Getting on my knees on the seat of my desk and leaning on the back with the rosary beads was often too much for a rambunctious boy.
butt v. hit with the head or hornsram v. roughly force something into place
Before I could get up he butted me in the head and rammed me again as hard as he could.
repeal v. revoke or annulgubernatorial a. of or relating to a state governor or the office of state governor
If I'd followed his advice and repealed an unpopular car-tag increase, I probably wouldn't have lost my first gubernatorial reelection campaign.
hypocrite n. a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religionharsh a. unpleasantly rough or jarring to the senses
Harsh judgments can make hypocrites of us all.
brag v. say in a boastful mannerskeptical a. not easily convinced; having doubts or reservations
I was in the Yale Law School lounge bragging to skeptical fellow students about the size of Hope watermelons.
jingle v. make or cause to make a light metallic ringing soundto no avail ad. without success
He jingled too hard, and one of the dimes fell out; he looked for that dime for hours to no avail.
steamy a. sexually exciting or including a lot of sexual activityhookup n. meeting with someone, or to begin a relationship
October, we revisited the all-time steamiest horror movie hookup, and in August, we took a look back at the 13 erotic thrillers from the '90s.
sizzling a. very hot, unbearably hotafter hours a. after normal working or opening hours, typically those of bars and nightclubs