an early teen was accomplished. On this incident, my memory was not selective but served me well.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
This shadow on a 3 decker is on North Street, next to the old Shailer Elementary School. I think we've all heard of selective memory. My brother has it. He claims he does not remember flying off the top of Elephant Rock as a kid and surviving to the bottom. It was an amazing 'flight'. I do remember that day. Now, climbing trees was a rite of passage growing up in our neighborhood, probably every neighborhood. We all loved to climb, the bigger, the more challenging, the better. Eddie loved to climb too, even though his body layout wasn't a part of the master blueprint for making it to the top of any tree. He was chubby, slow and a bit clumsy, but wanted in on all out feats of courage, midnight escapades and stumbling and bumbling with the fairer sex. There was a day, in winter, as I remember. It was a classic leafless, cloudless, cold January afternoon. It was a challenge, to see how high up a black- barked, gnarled maple, towering over a lot of Evergreen Cemetery we could get. We all took our shots for 'neighborhood immortality' that afternoon. We scampered up as far as we could go. As I remember, once you got up 15 feet or so, the combination of the blustery, biting wind, slippery bark and teenage nerves took their toll. Eddie was last to go, and he seemed to have a plan and seemed possessed. Amazingly, he got up about 1o feet higher then any of us. When we finally told him he had won and to come back down, he turned and looked down and burst into tears. He was frozen He claimed there was no way he could ever maneuver down the maple. He was almost screaming above, and at the bottom, we didn't know whether to laugh or cry with him. Honest! Soon darkness was beginning to creep in, and it got so bad he even begged us to go to Arbor Street and get the Fire Department to come and rescue him. "They did it when ST fell off Rocky Hill and got snagged on that ledge. Please do it." He pleaded. Well, there was no way we were going to alert the firemen. It took us 20 long minutes, but we finally coaxed him down branch by branch to terra firma. Various pats on the back over, we all headed off in multiple direction to the safe confines of our homes. Another day of growing up