Stories by Danielle Flood


" My First Love"

Published: May 29, 1977

Remember that first, nervous rapture? Some people you've heard of do, and tell us their memories

Elinor Coleman Guggenheimer could see her father coming down the street and he had The Doll. The one she had asked him for months before, the rather expensive one. She dreamt of having the doll. And she stood, prissy Elly, 12, in the late afternoon, in the summer of '24, in Deal, N.J., waiting, and suddenly she had this feeling.


Daddy, don't give me The Doll right now. Not here. He might be watching from across the street, or one of his younger brothers might be and they're awful teases. I don't want to hurt you. But -- Hank might see.

And then and there she knew she was in love. "It was like that line from the poem, Longfellow's 'Maidenhood' -- 'Standing with reluctant feet where the brook and river meet,' -- a moment at 

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Behavior, legal history

"The Suing Syndrome" 

Published: May 8, l977

How could you not love Frances Swinick? Who looks so motherly in her lace-lined baby-blue pants suit? Who with head bowed and hands folded chuckles Munchkin style? Whose milky cheeks rise like dough concealing large brown eyes when she talks, in a mirthful, childlike voice, of the things she treasures most -- her high school equivalency diploma, her $ll5-a-week clerk-typist job and a secure clean place to live. For whom "terrific fun" means dancing at Roseland. How could you not love this small 59-year-old chubby?

Easily-- if you were one of the judges, New York City officials and others who have felt the lash of her self-taught skill. Don't mess: Frances Swinick has been suing for 26 years.

She sued her late estranged husband for support. She sued her union, employers, landlords, judges and Horn & Hardart. She sued the City of New York more than a dozen times...

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"Lords of the Limousine"

Published: March 28, l976

The inside world of New York chauffeurs

Movie Stars or students in the back seat

Don McKee looked at himself in the mirror. It showed a thin, tall man in his late 40's with neatly combed straw-blond hair and a gaunt, narrow face, dressed in a chauffeur's black uniform. He turned out the lights in his shabby but very clean W. 81st St.apartment and walked south into the driver's seat of one of his three late-model Cadillac limousines. It too was very clean. He drove toCentral Park West and picked up a man who was to meet his sister-in-law, Mia Farrow, at Kennedy Airport. She was coming in from London for a few days, had an appointment with her agent in Manhattan...

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 "Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Sleep Alone -- Except on Weekends" 

Published: October 2, 1977

Some people commute to work. These couples commute to their marriages.

One of Peter Ryan's friends doesn't understand Peter Ryan's marriage. But then, a lot of people don't understand Peter Ryan's marriage. 

Mostly, he sleeps alone. At night he gets very introspective, sits in his rocker and looks out the window. He thinks of his wife, Diane: slender, 5-foot-10, brown hair to the middle of her back, brown eyes, a ready smile, outgoing, candid, curious. He fills his evenings working on macrame, typing flies or playing squash. He says he's got to keep active. "If you're not you just revert to contemplating what you're doing and it becomes very lonely. The key to it is lonely. Loneliness. Once you sit and realize how alone you are and you realize the person you miss is 300 miles away, it's very real."

Peter -- not his real name -- lives and works in Pittsburgh. Diane lives and works in New York.

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