Suburb versus Township
One thing about Oak Lawn Estates: if a child — or anyone — had screamed long and high and hard like that on George Street, Mrs. Fountain, Mrs. Godfrey, Ida Rhew, and half a dozen housekeepers would have flown outside in a heartbeat (“Children! Leave that snake alone! Scat!”). And they would mean business, and not stand for any back talk, and stand watch at their kitchen windows after they went back inside just to make sure. But things were different at Oak Lawn Estates. The houses had a frightening sealed-off quality, like bunkers or mausoleums. People didn’t know each other. Out here at Oak Lawn you could scream your head off, some convict could be strangling you with a piece of barbed wire, and nobody would come outside to see what was going on. In the intense, heat-vibrant silence, manic laughter from a TV game show wafted eerily from the nearest house: a shuttered hacienda, hunched defensively in a raw plot just beyond the pine skeletons.