14 April 2017

Published April 12, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Anecdote

Word Count: 100


            Monticello, a town in Upstate New York, is where we spent the summer of 1965, the last summer of my childhood, with my aunt and uncle. Having never traveled far from Kansas City, this was the adventure of my eleven-going-on-twelve-year-old lifetime.

            Unlike KC, restaurants like the pizzeria where I had my first ever, true pizza, stayed open all night.

            My brother handed me the red pepper. “Try this.”

            Aunt Lu scowled. “Go easy, Rochelle.”

            Did I listen? 

            Although the gooey cheese and sauce melted in my mouth, the pepper burned all the way down—and all the way back up. 


121 comments on “14 April 2017

  • It’s often said that New York pizza is the world’s best delivery system for peppery grease. I remember the scene in Saturday Night Fever when Tony walks down the street eating two slices stacked atop each other, holding them well out from his body to keep from dripping on himself. Nice story. I can picture it vividly. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jelli,

      Jeff hadn’t forgiven me for ending his six-year reign as our parents; one and only, but to be fair I don’t think he knew I’d have such a violent reaction. 😉 I’m happy to say that our relationship has improved as has my relationship with red pepper. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      I think I eat more red pepper on my pizza these days, than you do on yours. So go ahead, make my day. 😉 Always happy to bring up the royal gorge when it comes to storytelling.

      Love your bad self,



    • Dear Dale,

      Laugh all you want. It’s supposed to be funny…of course I didn’t see the humor in it at the time. 😉 That’s what brothers are for. Besides, I had my own ways of retaliation. That’s what little sisters are for. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • And you know, discover the power of red pepper for the first time is just one of the great adventures. Culinary discoveries are some of the best. I remember my first experience with wasabi. Yowza! 😉 Fun story, Rochelle. I enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Eric,

      I’m not sure it was a discovery but it certainly was an adventure as I bowed before the porcelain god in the pizzeria. Now I love red pepper, red pepper paste and wasabi–wasabi was love at first sinus-clearing bite. Thank you for sharing a slice of story.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Ooh, my gosh. Sometimes the chilis are cut up into small pieces here and I miss removing one. Believe me, you know it when that happens. The smaller the chilis the hotter they are here. Good writing as always, Rochelle. 🙂 — Suzanne


  • Ah, this is so sweet Rochelle – that first enthusiastic bite and then a close connection with the lavatory for the rest of the visit to the pizzeria! Bless you. Glad it didn’t put you off for good. Spicy food is one of the joys of life as far as I’m concerned as my husband makes amazing curry! All the best to you and thanks for sharing another lovely memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rebecca,

      Despite the obvious, I had a lovely time at my aunt and uncle’s. Monticello is up at the edge of the Catskill Mountains. We went to the NY World’s Fair also. I’m glad you enjoyed my snippet and took the time to say so.




  • Dear Betty Boop,

    That must be what made your hair so curly. Connie’s brother tried to feed her and Lana (their sister) bird poop in a candy wrapper. She won’t admit it, but I bet they tried it before they figured out it wasn’t divinity. Siblings can be so sweet and loving.

    Happy Passover,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Herschel,

      I’m cringing and ready to barf on my matzo. Bird poop? Ick ick poo poo pa doo. The red pepper wasn’t Jeff’s only crime. When I was around 7 or 8 and was ill, he was instructed to give me a tablespoon of cough syrup. He substituted Bourbon. Another retching experience as I recall. Still, he’s the only sibling I’ve ever had.

      Happy Easter to you,

      Betty Boop

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Ouch, that burned. Brothers! Who’d have them? They love to see their sisters with red faces, however it’s achieved. And they often never grow up. Am thinking of my first boyfriend (and some poor girl’s brother), who took me out for a meal at an Indian restaurant and ordered me a Vindaloo. I’ve never trusted a guy to order a meal for me since.

    A fun story, especially as it was true. I hope your digestion didn’t suffer dire consequences for a few days after that pepper.

    All best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      I hope that was your last date. Not cute at all. I don’t know that my brother knew what a violent reaction I’d have to the red pepper. He was just trying to be…well…a big brother. I must confess, I did my part as the little sister, ie brat sister.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my piece of non-fiction. Thank you for leaving such a fun comment.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mick,

      This is actually the wrong page to leave your link. Not that it breaks any rules, it just means I might be the only one to read your story. 😉 In addition to this being the instructional page, it’s also my story page and comment section. (Feel free to read my story and leave a comment 😉 ) Meanwhile if you will scroll up to and click the blue frog icon, then add your story URL to the linkz list. Let me know if I may assist you in any way.

      Welcome to Friday Fictioneers,


      Liked by 1 person

  • Those little red pepper flakes are deceiving, aren’t they? Oh, no! I’m sure this wasn’t so pleasant at the time, but it makes a great story. Made me smile! I only add cheese to my pizza like it ever needs it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Amy,

      It wasn’t a great experience at the time, but looking back it is pretty funny. I never lost my love for pizza and I did come to appreciate red pepper. You can never have too much cheese. 😉 thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I thought I commented on Wednesday, but I don’t see it. I, too, was raised without pizza, or any kind of foreign food. In a small Kentucky town in the fifties, the only restaurants carried southern fare or burgers. The most exotic place we had was a Dairy Queen. I’ve made up for it since then though and so has the town.

    Great job as always and I think I found your missing comment in my spam folder. I pulled it out and approved it, so now you have two. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Melody-April,

      In my grade school, they served a piece of cardboard with tomato sauce they called pizza. I never liked it. Although I grew up in Kansas City, I don’t recall many restaurants I’d refer to as exotic. My dad owned a couple but they were BBQ’s and greasy spoon types. We had a couple of Chinese places. Mostly what we got there were chow mein or chop suey. Tiny Monticello seemed light years ahead of us.

      I only see one comment from you. I’m glad you liked my story in any event. Thank you.




  • Ouch. Of course, I blame your brother for baiting you, but we learn from our mistakes. Can’t help smiling at your misfortune. How long before you ate pizza again? ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah Ann,

      The experience didn’t seem to sour me on pizza, but it was years before I’d go near red pepper. 😉 It’s okay to smile and even laugh. My brother was…well…an older brother with just a touch of the ornery. Thank you.




    • Dear Emmy,

      So glad you enjoyed my slice of life. Some memories are just funny. I enjoy my brother these days and wish he lived closer. we still laugh at some of the things we did as kids.
      Thank you.




  • Eek! Maybe it’s time to reverse order, and put latest comment first; takes ages to scroll down! 😉 Such a sweet memory, and beautifully shared. I’ve been to Monticello, NY and loved it… the whole area is very special. You really convey that here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dawn,
      I will take your suggestion under consideration. I’ve had that suggested by another person who said there were too many comments to scoll through. (Not a terrible problem to have 😉 )
      I had a great time in Monticello that summer. 8 Hammond Street was the address. I’m glad you enjoyed my story. My Uncle Harold Streifer owned an employment agency. He got my brother a job in a hotel in the Catskills that summer and I went along for the ride. Uncle Harold was a fantastic artist as well and enjoyed painting with his niece. Thank you.




      • That’s weird; I know there are some where the most current commenter is at the top, and there’s no scrolling. That said, there really are worse problems to have! 😉 And it’s not that big of a deal, just a thought as I scrolled last time.


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