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Here’s another story about my growing up in Hamilton…

Fish Pond Bob’s Pond

Big Dan Golombowski and I were very good friends. One summer evening we went to the back-field to split a case of beer. By the time we finished it off, it was dark. In addition, it was very hot and the humidity was high. It was the night after the day Fish Pond Bob finished work on his new fish pond. He worked his ass off to fill it with plants, and whatever it is that people do to fix up ponds. We were about as drunk as you can be, and still be able to walk and talk! When we spotted the pond, we both got the same exact idea, at the same exact time…”it would feel really good to put our tired, dirty, hot feet into the beautiful water.”  So we did. But then we decided to wade through the pond. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It was not our intention to damage his property. But after we walked from one end to the other, side by side, we turned around and there were all kinds of plants and roots and crap floating on top that hadn’t been there before! We were not sorry cause we knew what he had been doing:  We knew Bob was actively luring young girls into his van. He would make real friendly…give them beer, wine, and we had heard, even drugs. Then he would take pictures of them! As far as we were concerned, he was a piece of dung. So we just laughed about it and put our shoes and socks back on. Just as we were walking away, the flood lights on Bob’s house came on!

The back door opened and Bob started hollering! He was so angry! We slipped away easily through the darkness. But we could still hear him yelling most of the walk home. He was screaming like a banshee…Mainly, I think, because he had JUST put the finishing touches on his pond that very day! I think it took him weeks to design and build. And I’m sure he spent plenty of money on it, too. Later, he really tried to get the neighborhood kids to squeal on us. I mean, we made no effort to conceal it from anyone. But there wasn’t anybody foolish enough to talk. And this is what I learned through all this…BEWARE OF WHITE MEN WHO LIKE PHOTOGRAPHY AND DRIVE A VAN…


RandyMcCall Story #1

Randy McCall Stories-Story #1…”Doles WHO?”

In 1975, back when I was 15 years old in Baltimore, MD , I was attending Northern High School. One day I was standing inside one of the doorways at school. It was the entrance on the right side of the building (if you were facing the front of the building) that had a sidewalk that led to it… a big wide sidewalk. They were those big, thick, double doors. You know, those real heavy doors with very small windows. They were the ones with diamond-type screen and the big, stainless steel push bars inside. I think the white guys used that area more than the blacks did. We used to stand outside there and smoke cigarettes, and, if lucky enough, some weed, before, during, and even after school. These doors opened to a landing that had steps: On the right, they lead up to the first floor. To the left, the stairs led down to the ground floor. The steps and landings were terrazzo, which is an extremely hard surface. Well, you may not believe this story. But I know it’s true because I saw it with my very own eyes!

It was the beginning of the day. The “Get your butts to your homeroom NOW” bell hadn’t rung yet. I was standing with my back to the doors, facing the stairs when I heard knocking at the doors. I twisted myself around and looked through the diamond screen and saw Randy McCall. Now, Randy had been in almost every one of my classes since our 6th grade class at #236 (Class of 1971). And I must’ve heard his name called during roll hundreds of times…But I had never heard a response…ever! So I pushed on the bar and opened the door. I said,” Randy, what are you doing here? He said,” I hear there’s a “black guy” messing with my Bro’s.” I said,” It’s true, Randy. His name is Doles.” Now, anyone or, maybe I should say, “any white guy,” who was going to Northern at that time (1975), should remember the name,”Doles.” Or, to be more specific,”Nigga” Doles. I cannot say for sure if I ever did learn his real first name, or not. I don’t seem to recall it…Anyway, it seems “Nigga” Doles had been on a rampage, roaming the hallways with about 10 other “brothers” for the past few weeks. And, it didn’t matter who you were, how many friends you had, or even how big you were. If you got caught in the wrong place at the right time (or the wrong place at the right time), you were gonna get your ass kicked. And a lot of good guys got their asses kicked, too.

So, here’s Randy McCall…140 lbs soaking wet. 5′-8″ wearing clogs. (He wasn’t wet, or wearing clogs…I’m just sayin’). He was asking me where he could find this,” Nigga” Doles. Well, I shit you not; I look up the stairs and see Doles and his gang just turning the corner to come down the stairs…right at us! I threw up my arm, (pointing right at Doles), and said in a loud voice,”THERE HE IS, RANDY!” Randy said,”Thanks, Paul.” Then he quickly made his way up the stairs before Doles stepped down 1 single step. Now, I knew what was coming cause I had seen it before, a couple of times. Randy was standing on the step below the landing that Doles was still standing on. Doles was like 6′-5″ barefoot, and about 240 lbs. Randy looked up at Doles and said, “You Doles?” And Doles said, “Yeah, so what?” Randy retorted, “I hear you been messin’ with my bro’s.” Now, at this moment, I know I had a huge smile on my face. And you could have heard a paper clip drop…

Doles looked down at little Randy McCall and said,”What’re you gonna do abou…” Just then, Randy jumps straight up into the air about 2 freakin’ feet off the terrazzo! And he hit Doles in his face about 10 or 15 times before his feet touched the terrazzo again! It was beautiful! And I can remember distinctly that I had no thought of running up the stairs to get Randy’s back because I knew exactly how this scenario would end. Just about the time Randy’s feet came down on that top step, Doles, his consciousness now conspicuously absent, overtaken by gravity, collapsed into a heap of flesh and bones. And this very same unconscious “heap” came tumbling down the terrazzo steps…about 15 of them! He never made a sound. And he rolled head over heels and landed right at my feet! It was just like a “dream sequence” in a movie. It was one of the coolest things I ever saw!

After the body of Doles came to rest at my feet, Randy calmly looked at the gang and said,” Any of you’s want some of this?” They turned and ran away! Randy walked back down the flight of stairs he had walked up less than one minute before. When he got to the bottom, I said,” Nice job, Randy!” He said,” Be cool, now.” And walked back out the door. Doles still had not moved or made a sound! Everybody just left him lying there looking fairly dead. I never even heard the name of “Nigga” Doles after that day! I mean, of course, I recounted the story until everyone knew about it. But, the threat was now gone. The bullshit about the black guys roaming the halls in gangs, attacking any white guy that was unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the right time, ended on that very day. And, it never happened again while I was at Northern High School!

The End

Let me first say that I believe in personal responsibility. And, if you were to say that, in general, people today do not take the proper responsibility for their own actions, I would agree with you. Logic dictates that, regarding Social Security Disability, there exists fraud. I have not seen any statistics concerning the number of people who commit such fraud and get away with it. In fact, I do not believe such numbers have ever been published. That is why I responded the way I have. You speak as if you know the number of those who are collecting disability benefits that are not truly disabled. It seems to me you are drawing conclusions from nothing more than what you “feel” may be the case. Also, I think that there are factors contributing to the seemingly high number of disabled folks that you may not have considered. I think there may be several factors that make people more susceptible to debilitating conditions now, that did not apply decades ago. First of all, never before in history has mankind been so sedentary. Most jobs, it seems, require people to sit for 8-10 hours per day. Also, the quality of our food, water, and air have deteriorated significantly. On top of that, we are the most over-medicated people in history…taking medicines for everything imaginable…medicines that are making doctors and big-pharmaceutical companies unbelievably wealthy…but are making the population sicker and more susceptible to many problems…both physical and mental. If you ask me (and many other people) our own government has determined that it is in THEIR best interest to keep us all sick, weak, distracted, stressed out, and unable to fend for ourselves. At least twice per week, I look up in the sky and see suspicious “chemtrails” that were never there prior to a few years ago. What are they doing to us? I guess what I am trying to say is that you should not draw conclusions without supporting evidence. And you should not over-generalize when you do make judgement calls. I do not know this for sure, but I think most people who collect disability benefits paid into the system for decades and do have legitimate medical reasons for their inability to procure gainful employment. But I could be wrong…

The Boston Bombing

The Boston City Bomber by Paul Tiderman

I’m going to be the first (I think) to theorize that the Boston City Bomber was backed by a radical pro-abortionist who was drawing attention away from the trial that is taking place in Philadelphia, PA…the City of Brotherly Love. Although the apparent bombing of the Boston Marathon is certainly the most newsworthy story of the moment (now), there is another event taking place in this country that deserves equal coverage. But, WHAT A SURPRISE, barely one minute’s mention out of all 3 big news networks! Some low-rate politician got 17, 18, and even 20 minutes, respectively, this morning…before the Boston Marathon event occurred.

Apparently, an abortion doctor, who specialized in late-term abortions, was found to be running a most foul, unsafe, and absolutely uppalling, “House of Horrors” (as it was called by the DA), abortion clinic.  The place was so filthy and unsanitary that stray cats were defecating wherever they pleased. This doctor, Kermit Gosnel, is accused of murdering seven newborn babies as they lay struggling for life after botched abortions, and a woman whom he actually detained in his clinic while she died. Untold remains and body parts from aborted babies were all over the place…even in the employees’ refrigerator with the lunch. Why haven’t we heard more about this?

There were many complaints regarding this doctor’s methods in the years prior to his 2011 arrest, but Pennsylvania State officials failed repeatedly to enforce the law. He left body parts inside of women, perforated their bowels and ruptured their uteri. But no one did anything. It has been discovered that he had recruited a fifteen year old girl to answer phones, but who ended up performing procedures that only a doctor is supposed to do. It is further claimed that, at the same time he was getting rich performing illegal abortions, he was selling prescriptions as well. In fact, he would leave signed prescription sheets while he went home, for untrained, uneducated employees to dispense themselves. That was the initial reason for the police raid.

Just what has to happen in this country before people become OUTRAGED? When will we say, “Enough is enough!” and do something to take our beloved country back from the murderers, extortionists, and rapists of the world, and make it a better place? Today, for the first time, I think I understood what could make a person snap. I had trouble breathing and couldn’t stop shaking my head. I can’t believe this is the same world I grew up in…I guess it’s not. I tried to write a poem to release the pent-up emotion I felt, but it was too strong. So I had to write this article. God help us all…I mean, GOD HELP US ALL!

The money involved in the abortion industry is staggering. If the American people catch wind of the true nefarious nature of the industry, it might be outlawed. Do you think these people are willing to take the loss? No freakin’ way! I imagine the big news networks were under tremendous pressure to cover the story and a diversion is exactly what was needed. Well, they got it. Only 2 people have died so far…not that big a deal. More children than that must die in a school shooting to be considered a “multiple” murder. No, this thing goes very deep…I just know it!

“Same-sex Marriage?”

My thoughts about same-sex marriage:

Unfortunately, the mainstream media in this country have convinced all the uninformed and weak-minded sleepwalkers that if someone opposes same-sex marriage, they must be a homo-phobe, or just a hateful person. This is a complete lie. There are many reasons to oppose this issue. The fact is, for the US Supreme Court to say it is legal for same-sex couples to be “married” in the legal sense will violate the sovereignty of all 50 states and undermine the democratic process. Also, it is not established yet as to what the impact would be in many arenas of our society. The very first concern must be the well-being of our children, since, same-sex marriage would have to include same-sex couples adopting children. There is no data that shows conclusively that children raised in same-sex homes will not suffer long-lasting disadvantages from the experience. On the other hand, there is an abundance of evidence (dozens, if not hundreds of studies) that prove beyond any doubt that children raised in a home by both MARRIED biological parents, do better in every conceivable category that is measurable. There is an economic component as well. It could impact our economy in unforeseen ways…all bad. Next, in order to do it, the court would have to rule that homosexuals deserve a special legal status, as a group, such as is given to minorities, in order to declare that it is protected by the Constitution. Also, because the term “marriage” is not contained anywhere in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, they have no authority to “create” a law where none exists. Their function is to interpret the Constitutional law, not legislate. Moreover, if the court does this, it would open up a floodgate of other groups of sinners claiming that they can’t help the way they are, and they want special status, too. Then, logically, polygamists, pedophiles, and even people that want to marry their goats would be going to court claiming their Constitutional rights are being violated. It would be inevitable. A lifestyle choice is not worthy of special legal status. Could you imagine all the drunks getting together and demanding that the government must pay for their alcohol? And on top of all that, it is an abomination unto the Lord! And, unless this country turns back to God in repentance, we are doomed. It’s already been happening since Roe v. Wade in 1973. We are in serious trouble as a people, people!

I am not so sure any children were really killed…

Randy McCall Story #3- “I Saw The Lord!”

I was sitting on the front porch of Crab’s house (the McCall home) on Christopher Ave. It was a summer afternoon. As was my usual, I had a 16 oz can of Colt 45 Malt Liquor in one hand, and a cigarette in the other. I was preparing to make my living by selling drugs. I worked as a roofer when I could. I also worked for a local contractor named Walt Winter when I could. But he always seemed to take on some very hard jobs involving very intensive labor. Anyway, I can’t remember my life situation at this particular time. More than likely, I was living in Slick McCall’s broken-down American-made station wagon that was sitting in the driveway about 15 feet from where I was currently sitting. My father threw me out of his house without warning when I was 18 years-old. This was a few months later. Someone was on the porch with me…I just don’t recall…

The afternoon was a typical Hamilton summer afternoon: People were outside in their front yards, working in their gardens, or working on their cars…children were playing hopscotch or other children’s games. Not much was happening. School was out for the summer. Occasionally, an administrator would exit the school and get in their car to go home for the evening. Every few minutes a car would turn onto Christopher Ave., and pass between us and the schoolyard, on its way to Harford Rd. I was always hoping the driver would pull over and request an $10 or $20 bag of weed…that’s how I made my living, after all. But this was a particularly slow day.

I sold mostly weed. Back then, 2-toned Mexican was desirable. I didn’t know what “kind bud” was. Basically, except for some Thai Stick that was actually high-grade pot tied to sticks that came around once, I never saw any real good stuff. I had heard rumors of Panama Red, Alcapoco Gold, or Red and/or Green Columbian, all my life. But I hadn’t actually seen much “special” weed. Anyhow, I used to get a quarter-pound of the aforementioned 2-toned Mexican marijuana for $45. That would break down into 8-10 $10 bags. It seemed like the right thing to do back then. I never really gave it much thought. I also sold hashish and flakes, as well. Fortunately, cocaine and heroin weren’t very popular at that time. If they had been, I probably would have crashed-and-burned along with most of the folks who messed with that stuff did.

Suddenly, the front door screen door swung open…all the way. And in a blur, I saw Randy McCall running out of the house…passing within a foot of me…I think I actually felt a breeze when he passed by me. Before I knew it, Randy was in the center of the schoolyard with his pants down around his ankles yelling at the top of his voice,” I saw the Lord! I saw the Lord!” It was like, all of a sudden, everything stopped. All the neighbors were incredulous. Some were urging their children to run into their houses. Some were frozen I even saw a mother placing her hands over her children’s eyes, pick them up, and carry them inside. It was somewhat surrealistic. Randy was smiling.

Let me explain about Randy…and flakes: A few days before this incident, he had decided to join the rest of us (almost all of us, it seemed, were selling something) in selling some drugs. A good friend had trusted him enough to front him an ounce of greens. Now, I think the only reason Randy made this decision (to sell drugs) was due to the fact that they were VERY GOOD! He probably thought he couldn’t lose. For those who don’t know (or remember), “flakes” refers to parsley flakes treated with the chemical PCP. Now, PCP was originally used as an animal tranquilizer. It was primarily for treating horses during procedures, etc., and other very large animals, I suppose. Evidently, it could send a 2000 pound animal to La-La Land almost instantly. So, it’s not difficult to imagine what it could do to a 140 lb. teenager (or less). However, the circumstances surrounding this incident are extraordinary.

An ounce of good quality flakes break down into just about 7 “cans” of good flakes. You see, a “can” refers to a 35mm film canister. Normally, flakes of this quality would be cut by the dealer with plain parsley flakes to produce 10 – 15 cans of mediocre flakes per ounce. But Randy was honest and fair and did not stomp on them at all. However, as I mentioned before, Randy began to get high on his own supply. I’m sure, he had every intention of selling at least 5 cans…to repay his debt for the ounce he borrowed. And, back then a can of flakes sold for $25. And an ounce cost $125. Well, you can do the math. This is the thing that makes this case extraordinary: 1 can of good flakes could get 4-5 teenagers so high that they may very well wander around in a telephone booth for 4 or 6 or 8 hours, thinking they are at the pearly gates of heaven…and really believe it, too! So, I have a very difficult time trying to imagine where Randy’s head was as he finished the 7th can all by himself!

I mean, Randy was a wild child to begin with. He came from wild stock (on his father’s side, of course). His family and mine were somewhat similar. In fact, his dad and mine knew one another and ran in the same circles. I had three brothers, but didn’t have any sisters. Randy had 3 brothers. Plus he also had 2 sisters. And both of our fathers were prone to drink and get mean. Randy’s dad like to teach him and his brothers how to fight at these times. Mine just liked to terrorize the hell out of us…take away our spirit and crush our souls. But that’s another story.

The point, I guess, is that Randy went crazy. I believed that he believed he “saw the Lord.” But the neighbors, especially the ones with small children, were not as sympathetic as I was. But just as suddenly as Randy had burst through the door, Crab and Weasel came bursting through the same door. But they were carrying an extension cord and were on a mission. Within seconds they wrapped Randy up in that extension cord and carried him, resisting as he was, like a wriggling rug up the front steps right past me, just like clockwork. For some reason, I was not particularly disturbed by any of these events. Perhaps it was the flakes I had been consuming the past few days. After all, I had done some rolling around the laundry room visiting those pearly gates myself just days before (more than likely, that is). So this was not out of the norm. The feelings and concerns of the neighbors did not give me pause, at all. I had a pretty good chuckle about it. Got another tall boy from my lunchbox and lit another Kool.

It was just about that time that many police cars came from all the cardinal directions right towards me. Then dozens of cops were suddenly interested in what I had just seen. I took another drag off my Kool and assured them all that I had been sitting there for at least 30 minutes, but that I had not seen anything unusual at all. They pressed me. But I reiterated the fact that I had no idea what they were talking about. The lead cop told me they had received so many phone calls in such a short time that it broke some sort of record for the Baltimore City Police Department. I explained that his records didn’t interest me in the least. His face turned many shades of red and purple. But I wasn’t phased. Then they proceeded to knock on the door to inquire. Randy’s brother and friend appeared just as mystified by their suggestions that something indecent had occurred.

Crab, or Clayton McCall invited them into the house to look around, which they most assuredly did with great interest and haste. But nothing was found to indicate the validity of the neighbors’ tales. With no proof, and just the neighbors exciting stories…and I suppose, my affirmation that no such event had occurred, the police really had no choice but to abandon their investigation and leave. Back then I had no love or respect for the men-in-blue…which were typically referred to as “pigs” by every friend I had. What they actually did with Randy, I was never quite fully made aware. I believe I was told they had wrapped him up in a rug, and stuffed into a dark recess in the basement until the coast was clear…

Ravenhurst Story With Johnny Kirtz

I can remember the time Ravenhurst was digging in the dirt in the back yard of 2829 Beechland Ave. with a metal beach shovel. Johnny Kirtz came to the back fence (at “Dog Alley”) and asked if my younger brother Phil was home. Rave said, ”It’s none of your business!” I guess he was about 7 or 8 years old at the time. Johnny was older…about 12. Well, Johnny said he didn’t like the way Rave had talked to him, since he was much older. And he threatened to come over the fence and kick Rave’s behind. Now, I was right there with Rave. So I can only assume Johnny was kidding around with Rave. I certainly wouldn’t have sat by and watched Johnny Kirtz kick my baby brother’s ass for no good reason.

Then, Johnny asked Ravenhurst (it was Eugene, back then) just what he planned to do about it if he did climb over the fence with the intention of kicking his ass. And Rave said, “I’ll throw this shovel at you and break out your teeth!”  Of course, Johnny said, “Oh, yeah!” and proceeded to climb over the fence… Ravenhurst took aim with that shovel (he was a good 15-20 feet away) and sailed that thing in his direction. Well…and I can still see this when I close my eyes…that shovel hit him square in the teeth and broke one of his front teeth right in half. It was broken on a near-perfect 45-degree angle as clean as you please! I saw Johnny Kirtz 25 years later and he still had that broken tooth!  As best I can remember, he never even got mad at Ravenhurst. I guess it was because he told him he was going to do it. And he did, too. I miss my baby brother!

Here’s a Jimmy Holthaus story:

In the summer of 1977, or thereabouts, Jimmy Holthaus used to drive from his parents’ house on Arizona Ave. to Big Dan Golombowski’s house in a classic Dodge Roadrunner. It was, I think, around a 1970-ish bright orange “muscle car.” Well, I don’t remember exactly how I did it, or why…but I ended up straddling the beast up on the roof of his car on Roselawn Ave. I think what took place was, I expressed to him my strong desire to go for a ride in his way-cool car, (notice I said “in” it, and not “on” it). But he must’ve told me that if I was going to go for a ride with him on that particular day, it would have to be on top of the roof…not on the inside. I accepted his not-so-generous offer.

It was summertime in Hamilton, Baltimore, Maryland in 1977. Before me was one of the coolest cars ever produced by Mopar…the Roadrunner. I wanted so much to go for a cruise in it. But as I stated above, the invitation was only good for the roof. I proceeded to “gingerly” slither up to the roof. In those days, I weighed about 175 lbs. You see, the previous year I had spent about 8 months in Flintstone, MD in a Maryland institution called, “Boys’ Forestry Camp #1. Having gotten in all sorts of trouble with the law, I owed a debt to “society,” whatever that means. I suppose if my parents had had the money, and were willing to pay my “debt,” they could have substituted cash money for 8 months of my life. Anyway, back to the Roadrunner…

I believe we had to wait for Big Dan to get into the car where Jimmy, Big Al Hasselbarth, Angelo Torrie, and a guy named John (I think), were squeezed in already. I didn’t mind the prospect of riding on top. And we hadn’t talked about how far we were going, either. I had nothing else pressing upon my schedule that particular day. Finally, Big Dan came swaggering out of his house and got into the car. He didn’t seem to think my lying face down and spread-eagled on the roof of Jim’s Roadrunner was all that unusual. We were heading west on Roselawn Ave., starting near the top of the 2800 block (in front of Dan’s house), and proceeded down the hill towards the Triangle. Now, the Triangle in not called that on maps or Google Maps. It was a nickname given to a 3-way intersection at the meeting of Roselawn, White, and Hamlet Avenues. It didn’t take long for me to realize I hadn’t thought this idea through very thoroughly…

It didn’t take too long to learn first-hand why they called them muscle cars. By the time we had traveled 3 houses down the street, we must’ve been doing 50 mph. Then something happened that I was not ready for…or hadn’t entered my mind…Jimmy slammed on the brakes! Apparently he thought it would be a good idea, or maybe just funny, if he could use the inertia of my moving body to propel me from the roof of his car…over the rather large hood (I think he was packin’ a 440 cubic inch monster under there) and into the street. Well, I was young. My reflexes were fast and my instincts were sharp. Also, I had a lot of surface area to hold on to. Since it was warm outside, all the windows were down. So I had a firm grip on the side edges of the roof with my fingers wrapped around to the under-side of the roof. Back then the cars were more substantial. I think this model Roadrunner had a small gutter running along the side edges of the roof…you know…so rainwater would not drip on your head when you had the door open, sitting sideways…and it was raining.

Although I had been quite satisfied with my ride thus far, the boys inside were not happy yet. I could’ve easily been persuaded to dismount the big orange beast with very little resistance. After all, I had not been informed of the driver’s intentions regarding his putting on a rodeo, with me starring as the lead bull rider! But Jim wasn’t done with me yet…round 2 was fast approaching. Once again, we were accelerating rapidly down Roselawn Avenue. But to my displeasure, they must’ve thought I had a little too much to hold onto. Because, around the time we reached 60 mph, I felt the windows on both sides of the car beginning to crush my fingers. Now I had a decision to make: do I leave my fingers in place letting my “friends” decide how hard to crank down on them and be relatively sure I wouldn’t be thrown onto the hot pavement for a “tuck’n’roll” scenario. Or do I withdraw my fingers from harm’s way, hoping I can still find enough to grip onto so as not to be thrown the next time the beast bucks…I chose the latter…

I don’t know exactly how fast I was flying…at least twice as fast as those 2 screwballs on the Titanic flew…at least…When we reached the Triangle, he slammed on the brakes again. I’d like to say I remember the car skidding xx number of feet. But, honestly, it took every bit of strength, concentration and faith at my command to NOT take off like one of those toy planes that comes with the big rubber band attached to the little stick! I think if he had just gotten that car going a couple miles per hour faster, I’d have spent some time in the hospital that summer. All I had to hold on to was that little half-inch tall gutter. My knuckles weren’t white. The only bodily members engaged in this gargantuan effort were the tips of my thumbs and the first 2 fingers on both hands.

I am certain that we decelerated faster this time than we did the first time. Not only because going much faster would be the logical thing to expect from a teenager. But, even more indicative, is the way my cigarettes and lighter (that were in my front shirt pocket) shot straight out and flew about 20 feet. Well, they didn’t even become dislodged during the first attempt to throw me. When the car finally came to rest…and my measly digits withstood the incredible forces involved…all I could think about was, “I better get my cigarettes before they get run over…” And that’s what I did. I kinda needed one by that time, anyway. There were no conversations… no harsh words. What had just occurred was understood by all parties concerned for just what it was…a stupid stunt that turned out alright for all involved. I’m pretty sure they were all going to meet Dan’s “guy” for something green. Meanwhile, I walked up that long sloping hill that was (and still is) Roselawn Ave., waited at Dan’s house for them to get back, and the rest is, as they say…history.

The End

If I close my eyes and try real hard, I can still picture my first construction site. I am not referring to the one in California that I was assigned to when I was 5 weeks out of college…at age 38. That one was interesting…sort of…87 acres of dried lakebed in the high desert region, just 60 miles north of LA. I’m thinking way back in time…It was 1968 or 69. It was the first site that was completely unmanned and unfenced. Or, in other words, it was my very own. I was not alone, however. My twin brother, Earl and I were traveling together. That’s as good a term as any I can think of, to describe our activities. Since we were old enough to walk, that’s what we did: At least until we were old enough to ride around town. (And if you’re picturing an automobile carrying twin boys, you’ll need to adjust your “picture maker” or your imagination). I am referring to riding on bicycles.

From the time my brother and I were old enough to walk around in a fairly competent manner (I guess we were 3 or 4 years old), we wandered the streets and alleys of Baltimore City in the great state of Maryland. It seems my father was a diligent employee and was known to hold at least 2 jobs, trying to be a good provider for his young family. That would be considered a good thing by almost anybody in any situation and in any walk of life. And I would not be so presumptuous as to be critical of my dad’s decision regarding the number of hours he worked. After all, we needed to eat. The only hitch is that my mother struggled to meet our basic childhood needs, such as supervision.

My father, in recent years, has informed me that, on multiple occasions, he has returned home from working hard all day only to notice that his twin boys were nowhere in sight. Upon investigation, he learned that his wife had no idea of the whereabouts of their three-year-old boys, either. Incredulous, my father turned to the neighbors in an attempt to locate his progeny. Typically, at this point, we were blocks, or even miles, away: tired and hungry. And asking a grown-up how to get home. Remarkably, these adventures turned out OK in the end. We either managed to find our way back. Or, we put ourselves into the hands of a trustworthy and considerate human being. What are the odds?

By the time Earl and I were 9-years old, we were seasoned travelers. We would regularly wander more than a mile from Home Sweet Home. Mom didn’t seem to care what we did, provided we did not make messes or prevent her from watching her “programs.” Of course, by this stage in our development, we learned to try to be close to home by suppertime. I suppose by today’s standards, my mother would be considered negligent, at best, or even downright abusive. But we didn’t notice. On this particular occasion, we wandered a little more than a mile from home to a place that was to be called, “Dutch Village.”

Dutch Village in Baltimore, MD was a planned community, of sorts…it was planned to house the lower-class families of Northeast Baltimore. Maybe not at first, that is. There was a very nice swimming pool attached to the development. They were groups of 2-floor town homes with pitched roofs in the style of the “Dutch” buildings I had seen in storybooks. I think Phase I was complete and consisted of 3 to 4 buildings with 10 to 15 units in each building. At the time of our arrival, I think Phase II was just under way. Hence, the construction site.

There wasn’t much to the site, really. Just the concrete footers in the shape of the building footprints, some underground utilities (already buried, I think), and a lot of orange-colored mud. But there was one thing lying in that mud that had the potential for lots of fun: a huge (at least 6 feet in diameter) tractor tire. It probably came off of a front-end loader. And I’m sure it must’ve been all done in. But that didn’t matter to me. Moreover, it wasn’t doing anybody any good lying there in the mud. So I asked my brother Earl to help me to stand it up on its edge. It probably took just about all the strength a couple of 9-year olds could muster. I mean, it had to weigh at least 100 lbs. without the mud.

My construction site was very level. But there was a definite tendency for the tire to roll towards the golf course. Of course, between my construction site and the golf course, was a highway of sorts called, “Perring Parkway.” And just a little north, and on the same side of the road, was Baltimore’s Northern High School #402, I think. Also, a little more northward, there was a bridge that crossed over Perring Parkway. I didn’t know it then. But this was the Northern Parkway bridge. Earl and I continued to keep the tire up on its edge and rolling towards the road until it came to a stop. When the tire drew near the crest of the slope, an idea entered my mind.

Of course, the idea of rolling the gargantuan tire down the steep hill had occurred to me almost immediately upon seeing the tire embedded in the mud. But this new idea didn’t occur until Earl and I led the tire closer to the edge of the slope. Out of the corner of my left eye I noticed a smallish-looking car making its way toward us. At this point, I thought it’d be a good idea to roll the tire down the slope into the smallish-looking car. I expressed my latest idea to my twin brother. He didn’t seem to object to it. The only question was how to accomplish this feat. Earl seemed indecisive. So I took control. I did my utmost to time it correctly. Due to the time-constraint, we simply rocked it back-and-forth as I counted out loud, “one…two…THREE!” And it was on its way. Being 8 or 9 years old, we had no idea what might happen if the tire hit the car…But we were about to learn exactly that…

The behemoth-like tire bounced down the hill in 2 or 3 bounds. But it was perfectly at ground level when it met with the passenger door of that Rambler. I imagine the occupant of this classic automobile was rather startled, since the car was initially in the right lane doing 45 mph, or so…at least, that was the posted speed limit. But after it was introduced to our rolling mass of black rubber, he found himself in the left lane almost instantaneously. The old car must’ve made contact with the curb of the median because it slowed-down considerably upon impact. It smashed in the front-right door just as perfectly as you could imagine.

At this time, Earl and I realized we might be better served if we hid behind some nearby bushes. We watched the crippled Rambler as it limped onto the Northern Parkway exit ramp in front of the school. We laughed so hard, and for so long in those bushes, that we finally realized the driver of the wounded Rambler was circling around trying to discover our identity. For we saw it ride over the Northern Parkway bridge…back and forth. We could just make out the face of the operator as that of a white, middle-aged male. We just waited until he was out of sight and took off like a couple of kids.

No hard feelings, I hope…

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: – Knowing when to come in out of the rain; – Why the early bird gets the worm; … – Life isn’t always fair; – And maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies, don’t spend more than you can earn and adults, not children, are in charge. His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live, as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims did. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home without the burglar suing you for assault…and winning! Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility, and his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame and I’m A Victim, Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, do nothing.

Friend of Common Sense

Slavery was outlawed in this country because a minority of people recognized it for what it was…EVIL…and courageously stood up and spoke out against it. The US Supreme Court had upheld the right of some people to “own” other people. The way they did this was to declare people with black skin to be “non-persons.” This same logic has been used by the same court to oppress another class of people…people too small to defend themselves. I speak, of course, of the pre-born. And the only way this injustice will be abolished is by good people standing up and speaking out against this evil. The perpetrators of this crime against humanity have a lot riding on keeping the public in the dark…uninformed and unaware of the truth of the matter. Even at 5 weeks gestation, the abortion personnel must count the body-parts of the pre-born PERSON to make sure that none of them are left behind in the uterus. This would cause a serious infection that might very well endanger the life of the 2nd victim of the “procedure.” It was illegal before and most women did not seek illegal and dangerous abortions. Most women decided to give life to their babies. I’d like to see us get back to that place!

Does it bother anyone else that Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion-seller in the nation, and the largest tax-supported “family planning” organization in the world, was founded by a woman who was a leading proponent of the modern eugenics movement. She worked tirelessly to ensure that those citizens who were deemed “unworthy” to procreate were sterilized, by force, if necessary, to purify the human gene pool. According to her, it was the duty of every intelligent person to do all they could to make sure that no feeble-minded, brown-skinned, homosexual, or undesirable, was allowed to reproduce. LOOK IT UP! In fact, Adolph Hitler was a great fan of her work…and modeled his “final solution” after her programs. Why don’t some of you pro-death advocates defend Margaret Sanger’s work in eugenics? I can’t wait…

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