Sunday, February 20, 2011

2 for Second

Here are two stories from Dad's 2nd grade year.
2nd Grade Downfall

When Dad was in 2nd grade he moved into the house on Kostner and started school at Saint Edward's. Until that point he had been a model student loved by teachers and peers alike.

At St. Ed's Dad was seated in the sixth row in the sixth desk. When it was time to take their first spelling test the boy in the fifth row, sixth desk told Dad to pull out his spelling book.

"Lay it on the floor here between us, open to the chapter test. That way we can both look at it during the test. That's the way we do it here."

Dad complied and sure enough, when the test began the nun found the book almost immediately. Without asking the boys, she turned to the front of the book where Dad had dutifully written his name.

She moved him to a desk that she placed just outside the door of the classroom in the hall. He spent the rest of the year there, and in fact spent the rest grade school there. He also spent every summer in summer school. His grade school career had been ruined, and he would not recover until he joined the military.

From the Church on Kostner Avenue to the Church on Kostner Avenue

That same year, Dad joined Cub Scouts at St. Ed's, on Kostner and Sunnyside. I think it was Pack 3904 back then. It certainly was when we went to St. Ed's.

One night very early in the year Dad got kicked out of the meeting for being too loud. His Mother, Nani told him that it was okay and they would just go two blocks south to the Baptist Church on Irving Park and Kostner.

At that time the Irving Park Baptist Church had chartered Pack 3881 and Troop 881. The pack welcomed him and a grand tradition was born.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Daddy Was a Pistol and I’m a Son of a Gun

Dad used to say that there was a ghost in the house.  As prime evidence he would always tell this story.

I think this happened either when I was very small and before my brother Shawn was born or right after, because it was a time when my maternal grandmother, Boushia, was at the house a lot helping my mother.

My Dad arrived at work and realized that he did not have his weapon with him.  I don’t know if his holster was empty or if he didn’t have the whole holster, but he didn’t have it.

He retraced his steps, driving all the way home in exactly the same route that he had taken to get to the police station.  He did not find it.  He asked Boushia and my Mom to help him look for it and they tore the house apart.

Now remember that this was when I was either too young to walk or had just started walking.  I would have been far too young to have reached it wherever it had been, so I was in the clear.

They didn’t find it.  I assume my Dad either got another one issued or bought another one.

Six months later he went into the closet in the bedroom I was in and there, at eye level, sat the pistol he had lost.

My Dad said that this proved there was a friendly ghost in the house that had hidden his gun to make him much more careful about it, what with two small sons in the house.