Patterson was one WE-ird place, let me tell you. Our family would go visit Great Grandma Lena a few times a year, usually when my mother had had enough time away. While brother Tom and I sat on the back porch in our little love seat watching the adults in their rockers watching the sun set behind the textile mills' smokestacks all black and silhouetted against an orange sulfur-reeking sky, the sticky summer's night finally lifting while great gramma Lena bustled about repeatedly telling Walter to shut the hell up and listen and uncle Bill's reaking cigars making us want to run back out in the urine-stinking alley for relief while everybody kept telling their war stories about eating dogs and how poor Uncle Otto was never the same, I actually remember thinking Patterson had to be the most ferocious place on the planet, even worse than the fucking war. My brother and I ALWAYS fell asleep in the back seat on the ride home, and we never talked about it.
But, I also remember that Tom and I were always given a cold green bottle of Seven-Up, with a straw in it. We sipped slowly - I would read the motto and actually feel consoled: "You like it - it likes you"