Friday, December 21, 2007

Ninja Bomb Squad & Chi-town Christmas Memories By Robert W. Walker

Mangled childhood cause of school shooting? If you have this
problem of a mangled childhood you can go one way or the other.
There are many more people who lived a nightmare childhood who
become wonderful, productive people than there are mall or school

In my case, Mom held it all together while Dad routinely made
life hell. And when I was a kid, the way you got back at
someone, you didn't go out with a gun or explosive device but a
water balloon. Dropped a whole slew atop what was supposed to be
some black kids halfway down the block. The strategic bomb site
was from the top of their apartment building...but we did not
realize it was Sunday, so instead of the boys stepping out onto
the targeted porch some four stories down, when we (my brothers,
friends and I) let the bombs drop, and the water flew. All the
balloons hit a lady in her Sunday-go-to-meetiing dress instead of
the intended targets--the feuding sons. Of course, we ran like
hell when we realized our error as the lady screamed well.

All the buidings were attached from Jackson Blvd. to the alley on
Loomis. We rushed back from building to building, back to our
place, down the stairs and into the apartment, pretending innocence
when a knock came at the door. Now my unsuspecting mom was faced with
an angry black lady with a drenched hat.

We caught hell for it even though we denied anything to do with
it, and I thought we were quite convincing. Even so, my mom took
up for her cubs, as the boys down the block were always starting
fights. Eventually, we all wound up in family court and after
that we left one another alone. No one resorted to vengeance after
that, and no one brought a gun to school

Poor mom, some months later looked out our window and saw maybe
thirty black kids in what must have looked like a mob and one
white face at the center of a noisy, boisterous crowd of black
kids. The white face was mine. Mom, a small woman about the
size of Sally Field, shoved open the window and terrified all
those kids with her horrific scream for them to leave her middle
child alone. I had to quell her enthusiasm however and convinced
her I was not being gang-murdered. That it was all quite
innocent "play".

I had been talked --peer pressured--into a boxing match with
boxing gloves by one of the same boys we'd always had trouble
with, you see. In fact, the match was going in my favor; the
whole of it going well indeed. Still, from her vantage point at
that first floor window, looking down on the "mob" surrounding
me, it surely must have looked terrifying, that a mad, out of
control mob was attempting to kill me. I had to shout down mom
to the tune of "We're just funnin" while holding up the huge red
gloves which had been the other boy's Christnas gift. Actually,
the boxing match brought us all closer together in the long run,
and Mom had stopped cold the neighborhood of our new policy of
play over war. But this was the mid-fifties and Mom being from
Alabama...well she about jumped out of that window coming to my
rescue, and it took her some time to recapture her beating heart.

Today Mom is in her eighties, and she still reads all my books
and occasionally will peek over the top of the book, stare at me
with a quizzical look, stare back at whatever scene she has just
read, back to me,back to the book, shake her head, chastise me
for using a bad word or God forbid sex in a scene, and then she
reads on. Her cute quizzical look is that of Yoda when dumbfounded.

Rob -- Merry Holidays and peace to all fevered minds!

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