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Boy on the BridgeThe Story of John Shalikashvili's American Success$
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Andrew Marble

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178028

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178028.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Will It Play in Peoria?

Will It Play in Peoria?

June 2, 1954—Peoria, Illinois

(p.27) 3 Will It Play in Peoria?
Boy on the Bridge

Andrew Marble

University Press of Kentucky

The chapter is set in June 1952 in Peoria, Illinois, on the eve of high school graduation. Told from the perspective of Donna Bechtold, John Shalikashvili’s girlfriend, the chapter raises the theme of nature vs. nurture by introducing Shalikashvili as a newly arrived refugee in the United States, showing his capacity for empathy and tenderness, and giving a sense of the aristocratic ideals he brought with him to the New World. By contrasting Bechtold’s terrible home life, particularly her abusive mother, with her guesses at how wonderful Shalikashvili’s family must be, it introduces the theme of the influence that parents and upbringing have on our development. It also prepares the reader for the following three chapters, each of which is told mainly from the perspective of a different Shalikashvili relative.

Keywords:   John Shalikashvili, Donna Bechtold, Peoria, Illinois, Peoria High School, immigrant, aristocracy, nature vs. nurture

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