Tag Archives: horseshoes

Grandpa Horseshoe And Other Tales

23 Jul

The kids are inside.

In fact they have been inside all summer.

I remember when I was a child, I would get up in the morning, grab my bike, and my parents would not see me until dark…

And that got me thinking about some of the varied and unique neighbors my friends and I would run across in our all day pilgrimage through the neighborhood.

Budgeted memory sequence

First off, living about six doors down was an old man named Barney. We called him Grandpa Horseshoe. Grandpa Horseshoe would sit on his front porch, smoking cigars, and at his feet was a basket of…yup, you guessed it…horseshoes. Every time we rode past his house he would spit so hard the liquid would fly out of his mouth like a broken sprinkler head. He would also grab his balls and yell obscenities at us. If Grandpa Horseshoe was feeling really frisky, he would reach down into his basket of horseshoes, grab one, and chuck it at our heads.

All in great fun of course.

Wow, memories of an innocent time gone by.

I remember one particular warm and sunny day as we where riding past Grandpa Horseshoe’s place, he went straight for the horseshoes. No warning of obscenities, no ball grabbing, just a lighting fast throw of a horseshoe. We never imagined he would be so quick for one in such an advanced age. He hit my friend Wendell right in the forehead, knocking him off his bike. Grandpa Horseshoe starting laughing, and clapping. I have never seen him so happy before. I couldn’t help feeling a little happy for him. He never showed an ounce of joy before. I’m sure he had been dreaming of hitting us with a horseshoe for years, and now he could die with a smile on his face. Grandpa Horseshoe started doing some sort of Irish jig and pulling his pants down and mooning us.

Wendell was knocked out cold. About six of his teeth laid on the sidewalk next to his bloody mouth. His forehead had the largest bump I had ever seen. It was almost as if his forehead was pregnant with child.

Well, after the ambulance came for Wendell and the cops came for Grandpa Horseshoe, the rest of us spent the day in the meadow trying to catch garter snakes.

That’s what childhood should be about, not rotting inside to a Playstation 3, Call of Duty 4, and a big can of Pepsi One.

From that day forward riding past Grandpa Horseshoe’s house was never the same, for he never came back after the cops took him away. It was kind of sad. The only reminder we had of old lovable Horseshoe was Wendell’s dentures and his disfigured forehead.

If we weren’t catching snakes in the meadow, sometimes we would all go over to Carlos’ house to hang out and drink sugarless Kool-Aid. Actually it was water-less too. I don’t think Carlos’ Mom really understood that this was supposed to be a drink. Carlos’ Mom was cool though. She made her own special type of cigarettes and her house always had this sweet herb-y smell to it. I would usually feel a little relaxed and peaceful after spending an hour in his house…and for some reason hungry. But Carlos’ Mom always had plenty of Chips, Cheetos, Fritos, Funyuns…you name it.

Carlos’ Mom must have always been hot, because she didn’t wear much clothing. Usually a too small halter top where the tops of her areolas would be showing and tight shorts…or sometimes just some holey panties. Often we would have to leave Carlos’ house if one of his Mom’s special “friends” would come over, but we would just go out and ride our bikes some more. My other friend Johnny would tease Carlos about having a new Dad every week, but I never understood what he meant.

It didn’t matter, it was our wonder years.

Sometimes our friend Special Fred would come out to play. Special Fred had to wear a helmet, actually I think he didn’t have to wear a helmet, he just really liked to wear a helmet. Special Fred was a little bit older than us and had a motorized Scooter that he would ride around the neighborhood on.

One day Special Fred rammed his scooter into Old Lady McDonald’s Ice Cream truck. He put a giant dent into it, right below the window where you receive you ice cream from, smashing all the stickers with the prices on them together. Special Fred was OK, but his scooter was totaled. His parents were pissed. They refused to buy him another one. Instead he had to ride a skate board around that only had three wheels. All in all everything worked out pretty good because Old Lady McD only knew the prices of the ice cream from the stickers, so when you ordered something, she would ask you what the price was that was on the sticker. We would reply, 10 cents. Old Lady McD would scrunch up her face and say,

“Are you sure that’s what it says?”

And in fact, that’s what it said because Special Fred’s scooter smashed in all the stickers. Now a 1.00 ice cream was 10 cents.

It lasted about 5 months before Old Lady McDonald went broke and lost her truck.

Oh, the dog days of summer….

Maybe it’s best if the kids stay inside after all.