Daily Archives: May 31, 2007

What’s The New Mary Jane?

Thor’s Day. God of Thunder. Had a chariot driven by a goat, or maybe goats. Son of Odin, half brother of Loki, married to Sif (at least in Marvel Comics), and has a hammer that he uses as a weapon that magically comes back to him after he throws it at evil doers. When I was growing up we used to play superheroes and someone would play Thor and throw a sledge hammer around. It was way too heavy to go too far and actually hurt anyone but we were young and quite immortal at that time in our lives.

I grew up across the street from an asphalt playground that had six swings, three seesaws and two basketball hoops. We would play punch ball or kick ball, occasionally something involving a basketball, usually Horse or Around the World, very rarely playing an actual game of one on one or two on two or whatever combinations thereof. That was what the older kids would play. At night we would play hide and seek in someone’s yard or manhunt which was all over the neighborhood in everyone’s yards. WABC was always playing on someone’s transistor radio. There were a bunch of us that always hung around each other.

Scott Williams, Kathy Grant, Christine Kincaid, Susan Lucas, David Plauchino, occasionally joined by George Moncho or Michael DeBraun (who was a difficult kid sometimes). Christine and Susan had swimming pools which made them very popular during the summer months. This was all going on pre-puberty for us. Nothing can really compare to the eternal summer nights of childhood. I was the oldest of our group and Scott Williams was the youngest. We were a group of good kids that rarely if ever got into trouble. And I did write rarely. That meant no cop cars ever brought us home to our parents.

Came close once or twice. Scott, David and I used to go shoplifting at Two Guys frequently. They would steal dog chains, I would steal blank cassettes. They didn’t get caught, but I did. One day while shoplifting solo, I got popped with a cassette in my pocket. I was leaving Two Guys department store when I heard “Excuse me sir.” I knew I was collared. The pock marked store detective brought me into a room in the basement where I was browbeaten into signing a confession dictated by the store dick.

I of course folded under pressure and did whatever he asked while torrents of tears streamed down my face when he threatened to call my parents. I begged him not to while he made me promise to pay the 2.99 back to the store the next day. He also tried to ban me from the store, but I pleaded with him, saying that I go here all the time with my family, so he compromised and said I couldn’t go there unescorted without my parents. That seemed reasonable but didn’t last long. I never shoplifted again, and for years afterwards I would feel paranoid in different stores, thinking that I was being watched and followed by store detectives.

I don’t know why that part of my life popped in, but you never know where you’ll wind up sometimes.