Sunday, April 15, 2007

Snowball story

With special thanks to Marc Smith for reminding me of this incident

Towards the end of the winter of 71-72, I packed a couple of snowballs away in our Whitefield St. basement freezer in the laundry room. (This is the same room that mom was in when our Gerbil Stinky Boo-Boo got stuck in a secret passageway between pool table holes and David yelled out this fact, to which I replied, “Mom’s in the next room!” David made such a wide-eyed surprised face that the term “to pull a Smavo” was born on the spot.)

Anyhow, back to the snowballs- September and the first day of School came around. -Sixth Grade for me at Laurel Ridge.

Often I would cut through the woods and walk with Marc Smith to School –as I did this day. I brought along the two snowballs, which of course mostly ice-balls by now. Halfway though our walk I threw one at some kids. The rest of the way, I kept up some wild imaginings as to what I / we might do with this last snowball. Maybe I’d bring it to show & tell, but it would melt by then. Maybe, I’ll be ballsy and throw it at Eddie Sopher and Clifton Wilkins -the bad kids. Nah, this could be the chance to impress some girls. Maybe Kristen Dinges or Linda Garver –that beautiful All-American girl on Lavery Court who’s birthday is on leap day - Feb. 29. (Her twelfth birthday will be in 2008)

As I carried the snowball to school on that lukewarm Virginian September morn, Smith and I had dozens of bright laughs over the possibilities. Soon we were approaching the front entrance and our Principal, Dr. Marshall was there to greet all the new kids arriving. As we scooted by, I broke out the snowball out of the plastic bag from behind my back and gently placed it in his open hand, then swiftly walked in through the front doors as if nothing had happened.

Gotta wonder how many kids saw Dr. Marshall there in the morning light of that first day holding a snowball for a short while? Did any of them think that if he was going to use it on them for strict disciplinarian purposes in the event they got out of line?

Aw, for the good old days of fabled homeland security!

As Smith said when I rehashed this latest version of our story to him “Wouldn’t it be great to find out that Dr. Marshall is working as a smiling Wal-Mart Greeter somewhere. We could approach him again on a sunny summer day, with yet another snowball and gently place it into his receiving hand. Could you imagine? ”Not again Banholzer!”–he would yell towards our fleeing glee.

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