Thanks “scribe” for putting TLC
together. Enjoy it very much. But
as I read these anecdotes I observe that they tend to lean toward the soft side of growing
I was in the seventh or eighth grade and most likely this
event I am going to confess to probably happened on a Friday or Saturday night
during the end of the school year, for spring had arrived and it was warm. Two of my buddies and I were carousing
around town on foot not having cars or the age to drive one yet. We ventured through the alley that
separated Swartzes’ salvage yard and the church that sits at
The few kids who had cars were either parked here or cruisin’ town. Adjacent to the wire back fence of Swartzes’s there was the rusty core of an old furnace boiler that must have weighed at lease three hundred pounds if not more. A boiler is round like a big pipe and this one was at least four feet long. I don’t recall who came up with the brilliant idea to roll this thing out of the alley into the street and push it a half block to the top of the hill. We were going to set the furnace up on end and leave it there in the middle of the street sort of like a Halloween prank. During our struggle to plant this rusty old piece of iron on end we dropped it. It clanged to the ground making a horrendous ear-shattering ringing sound that could be heard all over town.
Unfortunately the way it landed on its side it turned into a steam-roller heading down the hill. At that very moment one of the cars in the Maid Rite parking backed out and headed up the hill. The driver did a peel-out on the loose gravel and was heading up the hill toward that piece of iron which was rapidly gaining momentum. No stopping that sucker now. The combination of screeching tires and clanging iron and the ensuing collision made it expedient to make a rapid getaway. The car and the furnace were accelerating rapidly, almost like a staged event. I know the driver didn’t see the rusty object in his headlights. I really was torn about staying to watch, but I just couldn’t not look back to see what was going to happen.
I was at the top of the street when the two rolling objects met just parallel to the end of the last Maid- Rite service stall. The furnace was compact and heavy enough that when they met, the impact stopped both objects in their tracks. It sounded like a dull bomb had gone off. Just a short “whump”. Then total silence.
Everyone at the Maid-Rite came running to see what the commotion was. Kids began milling around to observe this weird wreck. A few were looking around to see where this piece of iron had come from. It was really time to leave now because the expletive language made it quite clear that things would get a bit testy if anyone was observed at the top of the hill for “no good reason.”
I circled the block in a clockwise manner, so it appeared that if anyone saw me I would be coming to the Maid-Rite from the picture show. I walked up nonchalant to observe the happenings. I heard a few “gonna kill the so and so” and such language as that. Stayed a while longer, found my buds to see if they had seen all of this. I don’t recall any reaction on their part. Looking back on it, it was just another Tom Sawyer thing to me. I knew the young man who owned the car, and I am sure he remembers the event. If he cares to comment now, He can reveal himself. I do apologize for ruining his car. Hope there is such a thing as “Statue of Limitations” on killing a car.
Confession #2, and this one from your Scribe:
This is a great change-of-pace from the usual TLC sweet memories of youth. I was one of those squares who rarely got into trouble, but I'll share one with you. Two of my girlfriends were on the LHS tennis team (girls' sports then!!!!), and they had a match at WMA. It was a lovely spring day, so I just strolled out of school to go over and watch. I think as Seniors we thought we could get away with murder, but this wasn't even subtle. There were teachers and administrators, lots of people, in attendance. And there I was. Mr. Gerhardt summoned me to the office the next day and we had a little conversation about it. My punishment: I had to come to the office and sit for an hour after school every day for a week. The other miscreant: Larry Bland. I don't remember what foul thing he had done to deserve this fate, but we had a wonderful week being punished together, talking and reading and laughing. Come to think of it, maybe seniors did get away with murder after all.
And a new voice chimes in:
Conrad '56 Pitz
In your next TLC I would like to let the subscribers know that on July 18th of this year, my brother, Richard "Harold" Coskey passed away after a long illness. Harold graduated in the year 1948. His classmates I am sure will remember what a great basketball player he was. He retired after 23 years in the Air Force and was living in Titusville, FL at the time of his death.