The Fringe Family home set atop the only hill in town. And it was Fabulous.
From almost anywhere in the town you could view it. I often wondered while looking out my bedroom window just who was looking up at The Fringe House. From my window I could see Auntie Lusinda & Auntie Lucettas's home.
I could see Uncle Lucius & Auntie Lydia's rooftop.
I could see downtown to my Uncle Luke & Auntie Lois's pool hall and soda shop.
Mother would send me walking down into town with a nice crisp $5 bill. And my Radio Flyer. The fun part was riding the Flyer down the hill. First stop was always at Auntie Lois's soda shop.
Uncle Luke's pool hall was in this same building but all the way in the back. It was always dark noisy and smokey back there. I didn't like it anymore than I liked Uncle Luke.
Auntie Lois I loved. "Hi there Thommy boy-how's my favorite nephew today" followed by "how about one of your Auntie Lois's cheeseburgers"? I'd hand Auntie Lois the $5 bill and she'd give me back 4 one dollar bills 3 quarters and 5 nickels. She never charged me for the cheeseburger & fries. The nickels were for pinball. Nickel a game. I'd play until Auntie Lois would yell out "you wanta cherry or vanilla coke today darlin" Most of the time my answer was cherry. And most of the time I tilted. The pinball game. Eat, talk, drink, hugs and kisses from Auntie Lois "bye bye darlin" and then on to the grocers-A gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a dozen of eggs & a two pounds of fresh scrapple. It was a heavy load for me and my Radio Flyer and I still had one more stop to make. Gabriel's General Store. Mrs Gabriel was one of the nicest women in town. The store was right inside their home. In the front.
I was amazed by this. Often I could smell dinner cooking. Mrs Gabriel always knew what I wanted. A carton of Parliment Filters for Mother and a Nestles Chunky for me. I still love to open wide for Chunky.
The hardest part was pulling the Radio Flyer back up that big long hill. I always made it. And Mother would always come running out the back door throw her arms wide open catch me and swing me around while giving kisses to my neck. I would so hope that Mother would not say it. But she always did. "Give Mother the change Timmy"! That's what Mother called me-Timmy.
Years later Bobby and I were visiting Mother while on vacation. We went down into Mothers basement and there it was. My Radio Flyer. Next to the double bed. I often think about that afternoon in Mothers basement with Bobby. And I remember how much fun I had riding it------My Radio Flyer.