This is the seventh in a series of stories related to the tales in Making Things Work. These are new material, not excerpts from the book.
Almost 16 years to the day after arriving in England with my mother and sister, I moved back across the Atlantic to the States. I landed in Florida, where my family lived, and spent a week with them. I’d brought my dog, Oscar, with me; it was precious to see him recognize his father, a bearded collie my mother had found rummaging through dumpsters in London.
I bought a used Ford Escort, and we headed north to our destination: Amherst, Massachusetts. It was either going to be Amherst or the Hudson Valley; both were the closest I could imagine getting to England in terms of landscape and historic architecture.
Shortly after reaching the edge of Amherst I was scanning the Help Wanted ads in…
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