That’s what friends did in those days-at least I had near-neighbours that were quite belligerent and liked to tease. It was entertainment perhaps-Joe Louis was one of our heroes but we fought, wrestled mostly (I was a good wrestler but at boxing not so good).
On at least one occasion we were paid 25 cents to stage a match-some drinking buddies promoting their much younger (my age) brother. On another, a couple of us, the younger brother and I were horsing around with his older brother and we managed to force him to the ground and when he couldn’t dislodge us he became enraged. We were holding him down as our lives were at stake which enraged him further-neither of us could let go, no way. Fortunately, attracted by the noise, an older, much larger, more mature brother came too our rescue.
“Can you hold him down long enough for us to get away?” he did and we did, avoiding Doug for a couple of days after. All was well for many years, even participating in the Tarzan caper, until we went our separate ways in the pursuit of life.
When I was a child, back in the Stone Age your parents were the most important people in the family. They paid the bills, bought your clothes, prepared the food you ate, took care of you when you were sick, drove you to where you needed to be, tucked you in, and kissed you good night. They were essential.
Your parents acted like they were bigger than you were too, like they knew what they were doing and didn’t need your help making decisions. In fact, your opinion really didn’t matter much. When they spoke to you, they didn’t bend down, grab their knees, and ask for your cooperation in a wheedling tone. They spoke in no uncertain terms, and they thought you were smart, so they only said anything once. The rule was very simple: They told you what to do, and you did it, because they said so.
You were a satellite, orbiting around their solid presence. They even told you, on occasion, that you were just a little fish in a big pond. You didn’t understand what that meant, of course, until you got out in the big pond and began to realize that putting oneself into proper perspective greatly improves one’s life and the lives of those around him.
They bought you very little, so you appreciated everything you had. And you took care of it. When your bike broke, you figured out how to fix it. Or your dad fixed it. In either case, you understood you weren’t getting a new one, not any time soon.
Things were just different.