Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It Takes A Village (Part 1)

I was relating a funny story to my son about something that happened to me when I was a boy his age. After telling it, he said I should write about it, so here is it is.

Kids today are spoiled. You can't even yell at kid without someone butting in and telling you are abusive.  Some people raise eyebrows just to the fact you looked at your child at what is perceived as a menacing manner.

When I was a young boy, I was lucky if I even got to my mom intact if I did something boneheaded.

Here is one example on what I mean.

 It was the early summer of  '78. There were a few banks of snow still surviving from one the most brutal winters this region ever experienced. I was 8 years old, and the school year just ended a few days prior. This was going to be the best summer yet, I thought in my young and inexperienced mind.

The day started well enough. My mom cooked breakfast.  I ate eggs, hash browns, sausage, toast, with orange juice to wash it down. While I was finishing the last of it, there was a knock on the door.

My two buddies, Shane and Johnny, arrived right on time. We were all going to the ball field a few blocks away. Since my mom rarely, if ever, let me walk around by myself, this was the only way I could go anywhere a little distant from the house.

After my mom dictated her usual edicts to me and getting the three of us to promise to return by noon,  I grabbed my gear and it was off the the ball field. 

As we walked, we ribbed each other about the baseball skills (or lack thereof) the three of us possessed.  Who was faster, who hit better, who had a better glove, etc.  When the subject on who had a better arm came up, we happened to be just getting to an huge empty lot where about three houses used to stand. There were a good abundance of rocks scattered around.

So we came up with a not so good idea of using the rocks to test our throwing prowess.

Shane picks up a good sized rock. He picked a target, pointing to a wooden utility pole about 125 ft away. The problem, as a group of eight year old boys never see, was this pole was only a foot wide, and it stood only 15 feet away from a three story building full of windows.

Johnny and I pick up rocks. We examined each others choices, and agreed they were all the same size.

We found an old two by four and placed on the ground to use as a boundary line.

Johnny went first. and his throw was a beauty. It hit the pole right in the middle, about 15 feet up.

Shane went next. His throw high but off the mark. It missed the pole by a foot to left and hit the balusters of the second floor porch of the building.

This throw gave me second thoughts about what we doing, but I didn't want hear the ridicule of not participating.

I wait a couple of moments, winding my arm up a few times. Then I stepped into it and let it rip.

It was a majestic throw. It was very high and looked like it was going to clear everything, but it just missed and hit the top of the pole where the wooden brackets were, and deflected downward.

Downward until it hit a third floor window with a smash. 

Johnny and Shane ran faster then I ever seen them before. I just stood there in shock. This hesitation got me caught, because Mrs. Cavellini, the lady who owned the building and the store on the bottom floor, came barreling around the corner, and she had a look on her face that still scares me to this day.

The rest of the story tomorrow.

1 comment:

lovewing said...

you write with ease and it puts the reader (or me) right there in your memory...i can't wait to read the next part! thank you for sharing,
love+heart hugs,
wing