Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Rain Moves In

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain on my rooftop and it sent my mind back in time to the old house in which my family lived in Sloss. It had asphalt siding that was imitation brick and the roof was tin and when it rained, it sounded like a cheering crowd.
When I was very young, my daddy lost his job in the coal mines and we moved up north to Hammond, Indiana. He went to work in the Goodyear tire factory and we lived in an apartment next to a field of oil tanks. I'm not talking about tanks the size that gas stations use, I'm talking about tanks as big as 3 story buildings. I can remember the constant smell of bus exhaust fumes and unrefined oil.
I was in kindergarten there and a hell kid that lived a few doors down from us tormented me relentlessly. His name was Jimmy Miller and he was in junior high and took particular pride in picking on little kids. My sister Mary Lois was his age and she kept telling him that if he didn't stop bothering me that she was going to kick the crap out of him. He just laughed. One day the weather was brutal with snow about 6 inches deep, he came running by and pushed me down face first in the snow. Mary Lois helped me up but then looked around for a weapon. She spied an icicle on a nearby fence which was about 4 inches in diameter. She broke off about a 6 inch section and chunked it at Jimmy. The earth must have been in perfect alignment with the stars because that icicle sailed high and true and whacked the running Jimmy on the back of the head and he went down hard. I looked up and Mary Lois and said "dang, you've killed him." We both bolted from the scene post haste. We saw him a day or two later and he had a big ol' bandage on his head. He gave Mary Lois a lot of room after that and he never bother me again.
We lived there for about a year before my dad started longing for the hills and hollows of Alabama and we made our way back.
I started to Dora Elementary school the next year.


  1. Anonymous2:22 PM

    My first husband and I eloped. He was home from college for the weekend only, so our one-night honeymoon was spent at my aunt's house. She was away and offered us her home. Picture this: 2 Dora young folks, Ground Hog Day-1963, freezing cold rain that night, falling constantly on a tin roof. Over the years, I have forgotten many things about that honeymoon, but I do remember this: Hot tin roof it was not!

  2. What a neat story. Thanks. Rick

  3. Anonymous4:19 PM

    Rick, Thought you might like that true story. grasshopper


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