THE DIRT FROM TRIPP STREET by Daniel S. Wolk

THE DIRT FROM TRIPP STREET

Everyday Lessons About Life--Love and Loss, Sadness and Joy, and All the In-Betweens
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In the Robert Fulghum tradition but without the Fulghum bite, 52 little essays on life's little wonders, by a rabbi from Westchester, New York. Tripp Street is where the Wolk family's 1861 farmhouse can be found, and most of the pieces here revolve around life on the homestead. Wolk opens with his arrival there (``Moving Day''), when God's presence descended in the form of G.O.D., a.k.a. Guaranteed Overnight Delivery, a furniture van dropping off a bed and a quilt from Bloomingdale's. After this epiphany, Wolk declares that ``I no longer search for God in esoteric texts or lofty places. Now I search closer to home and find what I am seeking in earthly realms.'' The other 51 pieces follow the same ironclad pattern: snappy opening (``The past lies in an ashtray on my desk''; ``In the beginning God created the heavens, the earth, and the floorboards''); laid-back exposition; and sentimental clichÇs at the end. Wolk writes of book-collecting (``even when we move we take the past''); his 95-year-old neighbor (``we grow old by not growing''); snow (``if only we could understand that each new morning holds the crystal flakes of promise''). Removing a gutter, he finds that ``the past slides away, never to reappear. Only the nails remain.'' Struggling with an Adirondack chair kit, he wonders ``why should they be any easier to assemble than anything else spilling casually out of the carton of my life?'' Other pieces deal with tag sales; new eyeglasses; cracks between floorboards; fax machines; deer; ``The Quiet Hour'' (sixty minutes of reading before sleep, when one listens to ``the language of silence''); and lots of ``Days'': Human Contact Day, Weeding Day, Recycling Day, Earth Day. The delivery is gentle, the message upbeat, the aftereffects nil: fizzy spiritual snacks that evanesce in memory.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-671-74771-1
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1992