Collecting Ackermans


By Lawrence Block

cover image of Collecting Ackermans

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In the fall of 1976 I moved back to New York after a brief stretch in L.A. I got a small apartment on Bleecker and Sullivan, in Greenwich Village; my ex-wife and kids lived at Houston and Sixth, just a stone's throw away if you were a major league right fielder. My daughter Alison had just turned seven, and was in the second grade at P.S. 41. Her teacher was Miss Ackerman.Now that was a while ago, and I can't remember whether Alison loved or hated thus particular teacher, and what does it matter, anyway? What I liked was the woman's name. It struck me as just right for the story I was writing, neither common nor uncommon, ethnically non-specific, and—well, who knows exactly why I liked it? And what difference could it possibly make?I wrote the story and sent it to Eleanor Sullivan, who selected it for Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, where it was published the following July. I tucked it into Sometimes They Bite, my first short story collection, and included it later on in my omnibus volume, Enough Rope. It hasn't been anthologized much.Just recently a friend wanted a New York story for a Cable TV anthology show she's been putting together. If she likes it, and if the show clears the next hurdle, I'll have the job of adapting it for the not-so-small-anymore screen. That might happen, but it might not; meanwhile, I spent a couple of hours cleaning up the lousy OCR scan and turning it into something people could actually read, and figured the least I could do was make it eVailable to y'all. So here it is.I hope Miss Ackerman's doing just fine. The real one, that is to say. Alison's second grade teacher.
Collecting Ackermans