Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bad Neighbors

In the mythic, dream-state of my childhood memories, there was one family in our neighborhood that was thought by us to be "bad". They had a million kids, one was a boy about my age. He was the scourge of the block, yet somehow I ended up spending a lot of time with him. Learning things like how to smoke a cigarette. What his little sister looked like with her pants pulled down. What the "bloody 99's" were. But he wasn't the worst of the lot. One of his older sisters took off with a hoodlum one day- on a multistate crime spree- stealing cars, robbing gas stations, etc. I remember seeing it on the news. We moved away not long after that, and the 'bad' family soon faded out of my awareness.

So the other day as I was perusing the "sports pages"(obituaries), I spied the unique name of my old nemesis. His younger brother had died, and from the obit I surmised that several of his sisters and his father had also. I called my older sister, the only person I know who would remember them, and asked if my memory of his sister was correct. She confirmed it, although she said that the sister had reformed after that escapade, and was still among the living. My old "buddy" was still alive, too. I wouldn't recognize him if I saw him.
I passed on the memorial.

By Professor Batty


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