Chapter 5 Summary

Chapter 5: "The Phantom Brakeman—1933"

It is 1933, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt is the nation's new president. Shirley Temple is the new entertainment sensation, and Mary Alice, like every other girl in America, is learning to tap dance in imitation of the child star. Joey is thirteen, a teenager at last. He likes to be called Joe now, not Joey.

During their annual trip to Grandma's, Joe and Mary Alice go down to the Coffee Pot Cafe one day to enjoy some Nehi sodas. Mary Alice befriends Vandalia Eubanks, a skinny, pale seventeen-year-old who works there as a waitress. While they are talking, the girl's mother comes in and demands her daughter's wages. Later, Mary Alice tells Joe that...

(The entire section is 751 words.)