Mark your calendar!
You have one, right? Surely you got a calendar for Christmas. With lighthouses or beaches or things you don't particularly have an affinity for (not you, Blog Buddy Linda, beach-lover extraordinaire) that was, perhaps, given to you by your sister the ex-mayor's wife's husband?
Mark it, I tell you, on the date of May 5, 2017! Because Hick bought a present for Val. Here! Let me waft these smelling salts under your nose. There. You seem to be coming around. If you don't get a knot on your head, you'd better go to the ER for a cat-scan, just in case you have bleeding inside your head. Here. Sit up. Do you have your wits about you again? Listen to this...
Hick bought me a present at Goodwill for $4.00. When he first sent me the text, he said it cost 400. So, remembering The Good Feet Store faux pas, I made sure to clarify the price. Take a gander at THIS:
It's a FIRE TRUCK, by cracky! Okay. It's a REPLICA. Of a TOY fire truck. But it's like the one I had as a kid. Almost.
As a kid, my sister (the little future ex-mayor's wife) and I had a pedal fire truck. I think ours was a bit more squared-off than this one, and I don't remember our windshield being like that. But it had two ladders on the back just like this one has one ladder (should have two, but the other is missing, and Hick says he's going to make one).
We used to ride our fire engine down the sidewalk in front of our house. Which was a 50-foot mobile home, parked on the lot beside our grandpa's house. Let the record show that we grew up in the 1960s, in a small town that still had ditches between the road and sidewalk that may or may not have been used for sewer purposes. Kids were hardier back in those days, I'm sure you all will attest.
Anyhoo...the hill started up past Grandpa's house, and ran down in front of ours, and our neighbor's house, and then crossed over a culvert that was about 6 feet deep where a creek ran under the road. The sidewalk had fallen into disrepair as it flattened out by the neighbors' yard. You know how concrete sidewalks do. The squares get kind of cattywompus to each other. Unlevel. They develop shallow craters that fill with gravel particles. The sidewalkular decay was even worse on the part that crossed over the creek. With NO rails or curb on the side.
Yes. Val's childhood street. A humid summer evening, Grandpa in blue Dickies, lug-soled black work shoes, and a white t-shirt, crouched with the green garden hose to water a tiny tulip tree sectioned off from the yard with a round metal mini-fence. Change in his pocket ready for for the first sounds of the bells of the Tastee Freeze truck.
Picture Li'l Val and her sister (the little future ex-mayor's wife), bludgeoning the bejeebers out of each other with those wooden ladders to see who got to drive, then hanging them back on the fire engine, and barreling down that broken sidewalk, with Val's (in the driver's seat, of course) pixie-cut brunette hair blowing off her forehead, Li'l Sis standing on the back holding the ladder rails, her orangey-red, fine, shoulder-length tresses whipping themselves into a matted mess that would need the silver rat-tailed comb...flying across the culvert onto the better-maintained sidewalk section in front of the last house on the block, that belonging to the spinster Fanny Hugg.
Thanks, Hick, my Sweet Baboo, for buying me a memory.