The spring of 1986 I broke both my arms at Whitney School. It was a Saturday and I was there with Jeff Castor. I was going to jump out of the swing, but changed my mind. I let go as I swung backwards and flipped out. It would have made a neat trick if I’d landed on my feet, but I landed on my arms instead. I knew something was very wrong and so I sent Jeff to get my Mom. Impatient, I ended up getting my bike from the rack and riding it about four blocks home. Mom had to borrow the neighbor’s car, as we did not own one at the time. She drove me to the ER to get my arms X-Rayed. I did not cry until I go the hospital and the doctor told me that I’d broken my arms.
I was supposed to get out writing anything for the entire month that I had my casts on. However, I figured out how to write without moving my wrists before the month was up and I ended up having to do school work anyway.
I practically lived with Seth, Pat and Aaron at their place on 2nd Street during the summer of 1986. From 10am-5pm Monday through Friday we were together during that summer because my Mom babysat for them. Though not related by blood, they were very much my cousins. Those days were full of fun and seem like another life. I should have enjoyed them more.
I remember watching She-ra and The Mysterious Cities of Gold. Seth, Pat and Aaron would watch Thunder Cats, Transformers and Inspector Gadget.
Ray had made them Metal Bunk Beds through Pipes by Papy’s. We’d knock down their bedroom door off the track and use it as a slide from the top bunk! I used to play She-ra a lot and pretend that their shower was a power transporter. Seth, Pat and Aaron used to tease me about liking She-ra so much, but then they bought me a She-ra action figure for my birthday, which was nice
They used to threaten to moon and sunshine me. I remember running through the house screaming that I didn’t want to see that! And then they sometimes left the door when they went to the bathroom and I was mortified! Not having a father or brothers around, this was not something I was used to!
We used to eat Little Debbie’s for Snacks. Oh, how we looked forward to snack time! We’d drink Kool-Aide and choose from the stash of Ho-Hos, Ding-dongs, Twinkies and Cupcakes that Gaye bought. She stored them for us in her old fashioned wooden cupboard by the dinner table. Peanut Butter and Jelly were staples for lunch back then. I can’t remember eating much else for lunch! Maybe Mac and Cheese or Soup sometimes.
I used to make up magic shows to entertain my cousins and their friends. My favorite was disappearing in the closet. At the right angle it looked like I’d disappeared when I was still inside!
We used to play hide and go seek a lot. I remember hiding in the bathroom cabinets and even sneaking out through the door to the outside by the hot water heater. I also liked climbing into the kitchen cabinets and ringing the old hidden doorbell in there.
They didn’t have a basement, but they had built a crawl space, accessible by a door in the floor of the toy room. We sat down there during a bad storm once.
Seth, Pat and Aaron had Star Wars everything. They had a ton of action figures and even the Millennium Falcon. They even had Star Wars sheets! I don’t know how many times we watched Star Wars together between their brand new VCR and it re-running on TV as well.
Sometimes we would play board games. I remember the mystery board game 221 Baker Street in particular. We also climbed trees, flew kites, went fishing at the park and rode our bikes to Dean’s Grocery store on Mansfield Avenue. Seth and Pat sometimes would steal change out of their parent’s change jar and take off without asking my mom, which landed them in deep trouble!
One time I was lying out in the grass in front of their house and I found a four leaf clover! Mom put it in plastic and up on the fridge. Somewhere along the way the clover got lost though. I wish I still had it sometimes as I sure could use it!
Occasionally Mom would have Seth, Pat and Aaron come to our tiny apartment on 3rd Street. I remember marrying of Aaron to a girl down the street named Missy. I had so much fun dressing them up and having a pretend ceremony. Both Aaron and Missy were good sports and cooperated. They didn’t seem to mind me fussing over them.
I had my first 110 Camera that year and I used to take photos of everyone and had them take some crazy pictures of me. Like the one of me sitting on their clothes line poles!
Sometimes when it got really hot we’d make a tent of air around a floor fan. Then we’d sit inside the tent full of air and listen to books on record or tape like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Gremlins.I remember hanging out with Leslie at her house and 6th Street from time to time. We rode her mattress down the basement stairs which was a total blast.
Once in a while I’d go down to the Yeager’s house with Seth, Pat and Aaron to play with Stacy and Carla Yeager. They had some sort of wooden structure out back that made a neat play house. We also used old discarded shingles to create playhouses underneath the Shira’s back steps. We didn’t play on the back steps too often because their dog Coco was often tied up back there. Coco might have been of the Poodle breed, but I am not sure. I just know that dog had been abused as a puppy and the Shira’s rescued it. Anyway, it was not a good idea to play around the dog at all for fear of getting bitten.
Sometimes the house would overflow with people. Seth and Pat’s friend David and his little sister would show up. Then Leslie Shira and her two brothers would show up. And then Casey and Lucan Will would be dropped off to be babysat as well. Sometimes Mom would get so overwhelmed that she had to send everybody home except the kids she was specifically in charge of!
The summer of 1986 was the year Elizabeth Keene moved into Mrs. Ross’s old house on Third Street. I got my cat Mindy from her at her yard sale. Soon, she and I began hanging out together. I was going into 5th grade and she was going into 3rd if I remember right. Anyway, her mom watched me and my mom watched her, but that was more during 1987 and 1988 than anything. She went by Libby when I first met her. Then she wanted to be called Alisabeth with an A and then Liz. Anyway, we were the best of friends for many years.