My upstate relatives were proud owners of Cobb Manor, an architectural lab experiment gone hideously wrong. My grandfather had been the mad scientist behind this unnatural creation: a Victorian mansion– tall-windowed, majestically paneled and spangled about the eaves with revivalist scrollwork- which sprouted from its backside a concrete block, shaped like a T-square. Midway through his sixth decade, my progenitor, a portly patriarch with fearsome moustaches and starched collars, had converted to Bauhaus and updated his homestead accordingly. Concurrently, whispered my mother, he came down with an intractable case of hemorrhoids that persecuted him for the rest of his days.



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