Monday, March 31, 2008

The Blue

Part I

It was resolved. An act that leads men into thinking that something absolutely must be done. That injustice will not be tolerated anymore. And as written about before, when an injustice occurs, those who have the ability, also have the responsibility to take action.

So when the neighborhood had enough, we decided that we were able, and willing, to take on the one man who was never challenged before.

He lived alone. He turned his lights out on Halloween. He stole our baseballs and footballs when they were inadvertently hit, kicked or thrown into his yard. He cursed at our parents as they mowed their lawns, for violating various noise ordinances, screaming that he would get them.

The lore was passed down by earlier generations. Tales of murder, kidnapping, and the general evil that comes with the unkown and unproven. We called him Blue because of the color of the glow that emitted from his garage throughout the night. The source was unknown, but from the vantage point of my bedroom, I could see it was from one single bulb that hung directly over a work bench. It was cluttered with tools that seemed to be of no other purpose than to dismember the bodies, and torture children.

His house was the original farm house on the land, known as "The Hills", that was developed into more than 300 dwellings. All twins, and in three different styles. Mine backed up to his backyard. Most of the streets were named after the children of his families family, and one was even named after him. There were three fires on that street and everyone knew who was responsible.

There were stories of him planting razor blades in his lawn, keeping us from playing football there. There was the tale of a creature, half wolf, half bear, that he called "The Kill". No one ever saw the beast, but we knew he was there because we could hear him howling at night, and every so often, would put together a task force to tactically recon the area for signs of its physical existense.

The police would show up at his house quite often, without anyone really knowing why. But it was said that one of those officers, a rookie, had quit the force the very next day. And vanished from Norristown, all together, never to be seen again.

We knew the rules, and stayed out of his way for the most part, but as men, on rainy summer days, when we would play poker in my garage, our curiosity would get the better of us. We would talk as if we knew for a fact those things that had happened. We would tell tales of great bravery withing our own families; Older brothers who had been attacked, and made it out alive. Mailmen who lost an arm to The Killer, and for that reason, he never had mail delivered again.

We were men who took on extrordinary tasks. Jumping the wall at 7 Eleven, rafting down the creek near the ball fields where you were sure to die if the current was right, and stealing "chromies" from the hotrods that were always parked at the unemployment offices in broad daylight so that we could show them off on the stems of our own bikes. But none of us would ever assume to be so bold that we would go up against the Blue. It was something unspoken. We feared him. And for that would stay away.



The summer of 1979 came with great anticipation. We all had baseball to keep us company, and we all had the ability to try out for our schools football program for the first time in July. We had it all planned out. Wiffle ball in the morning, poker during the day, baseball at night.

Summer started out with a bang. We had set up the perfect wiffleball field with built in strike zone and all. Wiffle ball however became tiresome and we made some modifications. We cut the end off of the yellow bat and stuffed it with wet newspaper. Before the paper would dry we would tape it with black electrical tape. We replaced the wiffleball with a tennis ball and it was pitched with one bounce before it came to the batter.

This allowed us to put more guys in the field and play baseball, rather than have a pitching contest against one batter. Life was good, as we put together a whole field along side Logan St. More kids came to play and we eventually had enough to form 4 teams of 4 and put together a scheduled season. We decorated the bats, wore like color tshirts for each team, and even named ourselves after the local highschools nicknames. It was beautiful.

But something would happen in early July, after one of those games, that would alter the summer for all of us, and the life of one of us...

3 comments:

BWoP said...

I hope this doesn't fizzle out like MiamiDon's series did . . .

I can't wait to read more.

pokerDegen said...

tease.

Mookie said...

Spoiler alert!

Blue is James Earl Jones.