Fort Collins, Colorado,
Brick house on Smith Street
I was reminded of the following story, when I saw this on Facebook.
“If you can’t fly with the big girls, stay off your broom.”
The neighborhood where we lived in Fort Collins, Colorado, was quiet, nice and neat. We lived in a big brick two-story house on a large corner lot. Jack and I bought the beautiful old house with hardwood floors and a big hedge surrounding the back yard. The kids and I took naps on a quilt under a big apple tree in the summer and fall. Gail was 5, David 3 and Susan was 2. I have a whole memory bank full of great memories of living there.
To make ends meet we rented out a downstairs bedroom to a Colorado Aggie (at that time) student, named Dave. And that is a whole ‘nuther story.
The neighborhood little kids that played with mine were all about the same age. One very curious little blonde headed guy age 5, loved to play with Gail and David. He had a constant habit of running up the front sidewalk, hit the wooden front porch floor with a jump and with one big leap, jump to the door and ring the doorbell-not just once but many, many times, until I could get to the door. It was most aggravating and many, many time I asked him to just ring it once, or go around to the back yard to see if my kids were out playing. He never once did that – and after about 2 weeks of asking Larry to please, please do not ring the door bell more than once, I had enough.
One fall October day we put out a few Halloween decorations on the porch and after cleaning the house, I started out the front door to sweep off the sidewalk. I had a broom in my hand and on the third ring-I jerked open the door holding the broom high in the air, and yelled at him… “Larry! Stop ringing this door bell so many times!” With emphasis on “Stop,” I pounded the broom on the floor a half dozen times.
Larry took off running, screaming across the street to his house, up the sidewalk, swung the door open and disappeared, slamming the door behind him. A few minutes later, Larry’s mom called and asked why I answered the door with a broom in my hand? Larry told her with big wild open eyes and a stammer that “Mrs. B-B-B-Bateman had a b-b- broom in her hand and she was W-W-WITCHIN!” She wanted to know why I would scare a little boy like that. After I explained to her that I just happened to have a broom in my hand when he rang the doorbell a million to many times, that I had just lost my cool. She apologized for Larry and hoped that I would not be to upset with him as he loved playing with my kids.
Larry NEVER did go to the back yard to see if the kids were playing, He came to the front door and rang the doorbell just two times. It was Ok, because, by then, we knew it was Larry. I would open the door and Larry would jump back and stammer “Mrs. B-B-Bateman is you witchin’ today? C-C-C-Can I play with G-G-Gail and D-D-David?” I had the biggest urge at times to open the door with the broom in my hand, but I liked the little guy and decided I had scared him enough the first time.
We talk about this through the years, and sometimes, we say, when someone who has a broom in their hand, especially this time of year, “IS you w-w-witching’ today?”
Next week: Dave the college student and David the 4 year old, Fort Collins and the big brick house.