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produce, as energy
Dad said this would generate a little heat but he didn’t have to tell us this, it seemed like the cold automatically made us want to get together and huddle-up.
a young offender
Byron had just turned thirteen so he was officially a teenage juvenile delinquent and didn’t think it was “cool” to touch anybody or let anyone touch him, even if it meant he froze to death.
predict in advance
Then the guy on TV said, “Here’s a little something we can use to brighten our spirits and give us some hope for the future: The temperature in Atlanta, Georgia, is forecast to reach...” Dad coughed real loud and jumped off the couch to turn the TV off but we all heard the weatherman say, "...the mid-seventies!”
characterized by conventionally acceptable morals
And he was a respectable boy too, he wasn’t a clown at all.
Laughing only encouraged Dad to cut up more, so when he saw the whole family thinking he was funny he really started putting on a show.
ask (someone) to marry you
“Yup, Hambone Henderson proposed to your mother around the same time I did."
interfere in someone else's activity
“Oh yeah,” Dad interrupted, “they’re a laugh a minute down there."
be in a huff and display one's displeasure
I could tell by the way he was pouting that Byron was going to try and get out of doing his share of the work.
fail to get a passing grade
Byron caught his breath and said, “Aww, man, you flunked!"
refuse to acknowledge
I kept on chopping ice off the back window and ignored By’s mumbling voice.
marked by boisterous merriment or convulsive laughter
Dad thought that was hilarious and put his head back on his arms.
a person connected by blood or marriage
Having the school’s god as my relative helped in some other ways too.
characterized by enmity or ill will
"I’ve often told you that as Negroes the world is many times a hostile place for us.”
having or showing knowledge or understanding or realization
I want you to carefully note how advanced this second-grade student is, and I particularly want you to be aware of the effect his skills have upon you.
be fully aware of
I guess I was too nervous about Mr. Alums to have recognized the voice before, but as soon as I walked into the room I froze.
And Byron Watson, if you are incapable of taking some of the fire out of your eyes I assure you I will find a way to assist you.
strive to equal or match, especially by imitating
“If, instead of trying to intimidate your young brother, you would emulate him and use that mind of yours, perhaps you’d find things much easier."
examine and note the similarities or differences of
I still got called Egghead or Poindexter or Professor some of the time but that wasn’t bad compared to what could have happened.
acting or arriving exactly at the time appointed
Every other time someone was late he’d just laugh at them and tell the rest of us, “This is the only way you little punks is gonna learn to be punctual."
disturb, especially by minor irritations
Then he had to add, “Y’all just sit next to Poindexter, he don’t bother no one.”
talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
This guy was real desperate for a friend because even though I wouldn’t say much back to him he kept jabbering away at me all through class.
filled with contentment
But LJ wasn’t satisfied with doing one or two, I guess he wanted a raise, so one day he said to me, “You know, we should stop having these little fights all the time."
a place for the burial of a corpse
Maybe it was because we had such a great war going on and I was kind of nervous about who’d win, but this stupid stuff made sense, so instead of digging each one of the couple hundred dead dinosaurs a grave we dug one giant hole and buried all the radioactive ones in it, then we put a big rock on top so no radioactivity could leak out.
a defense of some offensive behavior
But I was just making excuses to myself for being so stupid.
recognize with gratitude; be grateful for
I guess I should have told Momma that I really appreciated her helping me get my friend back but I didn’t have to.