Ah summer! Time is flying soooo fast these days, I don’t even have to wait until August for the dog days – Wee Dawgies, it’s been hot, hot, hot. It’s also been muggy. When it gets like this sometimes my knee gets to hurting. My own personal barometer. Which reminds me ~
Mike Pasquel never liked me. He always told me he was gonna throw me in the river. I don’t know why he didn’t like me. Perhaps it was because I was a safety patrol crossing guard and looked real spiffy with my white belt. Perhaps it was because I made him wait until I stood in the middle of the road with arms and legs stretched out, shielding him and the rest of my peers.
Maybe he didn’t like me because sometimes I used my skates while wearing the patrol belt – a definite no-no – but I enjoyed showing off my skill of stopping on a dime. At the end of the 5th grade, when school was released for summer vacation, Mike actually did push me down the ravine into the river.
How I loved summer when I was a kid. We didn’t have air conditioning, heckfire shoot, not even a color tv. My NY Granny made sure we stayed outside all day long. We found shade trees to sit under and play board games in the hot afternoon sun. Early mornings and evenings were made for riding my bicycle or skating with my excellent pair of hand me down metal skates. They even had their own key! Huzzah!
The day that Mike Pasquel pushed me down that grassy slope, I was wearing my skates. I rolled, I tumbled and my right knee hit a stump, which in turn caused my skate to get hung up on it’s root. No one was around to hear my cry. I remembered every bad word I had ever heard in my life. Trust me, he was called every color of dirty dog there was. I even invented a few which I forgot totally about until I was married to my first husband.
Funny how the memory works.
A kid back then with these magic skates always had their skate key. Mine was tied on a shoelace and wore around my neck. My fat 11 year old fingers nimbly loosened the skate so I could free my foot. You should have seen my knee. It would take a whole bottle of mercurochrome to keep me from certain impetigo. I limped home, skates in hand, PF Flyers no longer clean. My soiled patrol belt would never be pristine again. My NY Granny saw me limping. She came with switch in hand, just knowing I had been up to no good. On closer inspection, Grandma knew I had come out on the losing end of this battle.
At times I would rather have taken a switching than to listen to my Grand parents. My Grandpop was from Denmark. He was like King Solomon, with his wisdom and Jewish wit. My Grandmother was neither Jew or witty. And she was never, bless her heart, politically correct. She knew that rotten Mike P. was in for it. Grabbing my arm, she dragged me to his house, confronted him, graphically questioned his father and mother’s heritage in no uncertain terms and in the end, I received a new pair of skates and a slimy handshake from my sworn enemy.
That summer I never once used those skates. I wonder what ever happened to them. Probably in my mother’s attic. She never throws away anything.