We lived in Niagara Falls Canada on Kitchener Street facing Poplar Park - a large baseball field lined with poplar trees. The park also had a wood grandstand. Hospital construction encompassed the area and that marked the end of our regular summer carnival. Gary lived a few houses down the street, and we became friends forever. He spent his life driving for the city bus transit. Sam lived farther down on a larger property. His father kept a few cabins for tourists and also pheasants in a cage. Other than their colours, I never figured out why they housed those creatures.
Sam was aggressive enough to find a kid to beat up every day, which got him a reputation for being the city bully. It wasn't long before he wrestled me to the ground and began choking me, finally pulling back. Maybe he glimpsed that I wasn't a threat. I didn't want to tangle with him. All it did was just escalate so I didn't fight back? I lost touch with him until one day years later he recognized me in the hardware store. It was a polite conversation of pleasantries.
Sam kept weights in his area of the shop for his body building. No one dared argue with him.
Dad and Sam worked at the same factory. Sam kept weights in his area of the shop for his body building. No one dared argue with him. Sundays we had to attend church on Main Street. Dad promptly dropped us off at the curb by the chapel. He drove off for a couple of hours until he retrieved us at the same spot. I envied him because I figured he met up with his buddies somewhere, which was something that seldom happened for me. Faithfully, we’d be at Sunday school for an hour and play “draw swords” (reciting Bible verses in a contest). Often we had to sing a little tune: “God first, others second and I last.” At sixteen, I became an usher and sat at the back of the sanctuary listening to another hour’s sermon. While I folded and fidgeted with papers, I felt the summer breeze waft through the open window behind me. I took a peek out and glimpsed my buddies with their fishing rods dangling in front as they biked to Chippawa. Indeed, what a beautiful morning it was! ©