Monday, September 26, 2011

Mr.'s and Mrs.'s

The rest of the neighbors, I tended to call Mr. and Mrs., except for the Rev.s. On the other side of Grundy's were the Grimms. These kids were a bit older than I, yet younger than my brother or sisters. I used the excuse for not coming in one time, "I thought that was Mr. Grimm calling for Paula." I loved being outside. They all watched me during my grandpa's funeral. Swimming at Grundy's pool, I watched the funeral procession of cars roll to the cemetery.
On down Haywood, the Garmans lived. I laugh now, because they seemed ancient when I was a child. Then as I grew up and we celebrated Mrs. Garman's 95th birthday, I realized she was only in her late 60's when I was growing up. She had a small Chihuahua, (I guess there aren't any other kind) Bootsy.  She walked him every morning, just outside their porch. He liked to sit in the outstretched paws of Rags, the neighborhood Lab. They just chilled together. Mrs. Garman wore her hair in a bun, with wire rim glasses and long dresses. They allowed us to play on their porch, a very kind couple.
Next to them were the Winters. They babysat me one night and I had a good time. Mrs. Winters sometimes babysat the Powell kids. One day, a fire started in their home. I saw Mr. Winters laying on the couch afterwards, I suppose from smoke inhalation. Later they put a trailer down in their back yard. My husband still wonders how they lowered it down that steep hill. I believe the answer is carefully.
The first ones I met were Mr. and Mrs. Boal. I ran across our yard to their small green house. I think I must have thought it was so cute. I bounded up the porch and peered in their screen door. I could see straight through the living room and dining room to their kitchen and spied the clear glass cookie jar. Immediately, I asked for a cookie. Dan must have been on Mollie-patrol because he was right behind me to try to corral me.
I wiggled my way into their hearts and they mine. I ate often with them and even stole Mr. Boal's meat one time. I thought he said he was finished. I still have a scar on the back of my head when Mr. Boal tried to bring me in from my swing set. He always had a cigar hanging from his mouth. As I bucked my head back, it hit that cigar. I also didn't leave it alone, picking at it.
The Boals wanted to take me to a fancy restaurant, the Oak Room, on RT 62 across from the Hickory Plaza. Mom had to put my fanciest dress on me and I really behaved myself. They were like grandparents. Another time I flew into the Youngstown Airport by myself, they drove over to see me get off the plane.
In 1971, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. They seemed so old. The affair in their home, proved to be quite elegant. She wore a gold and white dress, he a white suit coat. Her hair done up in silver. He had no hair.
Mr. Boal died in winter of 1973, while I was in sixth grade. I cried almost uncontrollably, more from guilt, I believe because I hadn't spent much time with them as before  I went through my early sixth grade growing pains. Diane and Danny also attended, giving me glances, like get it together, you're embarrassing us. But they never stole meat from his plate, sat for hours on summer evenings listening to talk, played on their kitchen floor with their daughter's old metal kitchen tool toys, or had a fancy evening with this couple. Regret that I was growing up, he had been sick and I ignored him.
Mrs. Boal asked me to spend  a few nights in the house, as she grew used to being alone. I wore an old granny gown of my sister's. I slept in Mr. Boal's room. They didn't share bedrooms, the only couple I knew who officially did that. I felt a little funny, but I wasn't scared or overly disturbed.  I helped Mrs. Boal get through a rough time.
The Boals had their problems. We heard them fight at times. Mr. Boal looked after his burn barrel too much where a bottle was stashed.  This happened before counseling was encouraged. They coped in their way. Mrs. Boal loved him and missed him when he was gone. Sometime in my high school years, she went to live with her daughter. She said nasty things about my parents later, but I think again, dementia had set in. I have good memories of this couple.

Sledding with the Grimms. I'm the 2nd one in. Karen is the leader. She was the oldest of the Grimms.

Mr. Boal
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