Archive for February, 2012

Some Random Bojon Thoughts

Life has been busy, and the fun stuff like writing about Bojon Town is neglected for more pressing matters.  I’ll finish up the stories about school soon, but I have a few minutes, so here’s some totally unrelated, random acts of Bojonicity (I may get that word copyrighted).

When we were about 12 or so, we saw a movie where two guys played chicken in their cars.  Drove straight at each other and the winner was the one that didn’t flinch.  We didn’t have cars, but we had bikes, so hey, we thought we’d give it a shot.  Me and Tommy Pechek and Whitey Cvar went over to the school grounds and Tommy and Whitey went first.  They got about 50 yards apart, started pedaling towards each other, and when it was time to flinch, neither one flinched.  They crashed head on, and almost destroyed their bicycles.  Tommy’s bike was in better shape, so we got about 50 yards from each other, started pedaling, and guess what…..neither one of  us flinched.  Now Tommy is scraped and bleeding, his bike is jacked up, and he’s done.  My bike is bent and I got a nice gash in my leg.  Whitey is still trying to get his handlebars straight.  End of playing chicken.  Moral of the story.  Bojons don’t flinch at minor things like bodily harm and potential injury.

Speaking of bodily harm and potential injury, same cast of characters.  Me, Tommy and Whitey are racing our bikes down the alley between Egan and Mahern that came out behind old man Vid’s house by the pool hall.  I’ve got a lead, and Whitey starts hollering to stop.  I ain’t falling for that, because he’s just trying to get me to slow down so he can pass me.  So, I pour it on, blast out of the alley onto Mahern, and t-bone the door of a huge dump truck.  I put a dent in the side of that door with my over-hard cranium, and my bike ended up getting kind of stuck under the back wheels.  Huge bump on the head.  Major repairs to the bike, and probably inches from dying under those huge tires.  The dump truck driver was so scared that he wasn’t even mad at me.  He was just glad he didn’t crush me like  a bug.  Here’s the amazing part of the story.  Nothing that I ever did wrong as a kid went unnoticed.  It always got back to my mom and dad.  When I smacked into that truck, there were at least 10 guys in front of the pool hall, the truck driver, Whitey and Tommy.  And no one ever told my parents.  They didn’t know until this day.  I think that everyone there were all so relieved that I didn’t get killed that they didn’t have the heart to see me get an asswhipping on top of it all.

One summer, we had a waterfight in Bojon Town.  It lasted about 2 weeks.  No place was safe, and almost everyone between 8 and 18 was involved.  It started with squirt guns and water balloons.  Before it was over, people were running around with buckets, filling them up in random yards from garden hoses.  People were hiding on roofs with washtubs full of water, and it got out of hand.  No one died.  Some people got hurt, but just minor injuries like cuts, bruises, scrapes, and the occasional broken bone.

I was forbidden by my parents from going down to ‘the tracks’.  The tracks were train tracks that ran on the east side of I-25, running north and south.  I’m not sure if trains even run there any more, but there were quite a few when I was a kid.  It was like a jungle, with a lot of trees and cool little gullies and stuff, and a lot of hobos used to hang around down there.  For the younger, hobos were people that were homeless and hung around camps…..well…..kind of like they do now, except they were a lot different.  We thought that they were cool.  They had a camp that was kind of hidden, and there were always a few guys living down there.   They’d tell us stories about riding trains all over the country, and it sounded pretty romantic.  Thinking back on it, it had to be a pretty harsh life, but they seemed to be happy, drinking cheap booze and eating out of cans.  I ate with them a few times, and they seemed to really enjoy themselves.

We lived right across the alley from Fritz Gorsich’s grocery store.  When I was about 7 or 8, Wonder Bread had a guy that used to go around to stores to promote their products.  They called him “The Wonder Giant”, and eating their bread would make you big and strong like him.  He showed up at Fritz’s one day, and we were all waiting for him.  He pulled up in this tiny little foreign car, and when he got out, we couldn’t believe it.   He was dressed completely in white, and he was at least 7 feet tall.  We couldn’t believe that he even fit in that little car.  He talked to all of us, picked us up and threw us in the air and stuff like that, and gave us tiny little loaves of Wonder Bread.  It was awesome!  I still buy that stuff, and it’s all because of that guy.

Speaking of Fritz’s, when I was about 13, Joe Lepik was pretty much running the store and he used to pay me to do odd jobs.  I’d make about 2 dollars a day, but I could eat and drink all I wanted as long as Fritz didn’t see.  Joe could care less.  Fritz was worth more than a few million, and Joe didn’t mind seeing a bit of it get spread around.  Fritz was such a miser that he’d take the ends of the lunch meat that they couldn’t slice anymore, and he’d fry that crap up and eat fried baloney and stuff like that.  When he’d leave, Joe and I would go and get some big fat steaks and fry them up and eat it before Fritz got back.  The man was worth like 25 million dollars, he has an entire building at Pueblo Community College named after him because he gave them so much money, and when he got a hole in his shoes, he’d cut a piece of cardboard the size of the inside of his shoe and put it in and wear them some more.  I guess that’s how you get 25 million bucks.  By being an idiot, suffering, and letting someone else enjoy the money after you die.  One day, I’m 13 or 14, and Joe decides to put me in charge of delivering groceries in the neighborhood.  They had this really tight little Chevy pickup, a standard with a column shifter and a little 6 cylinder, and Joe had me load it up with about 5 or 6 orders.  I tell him when I’m done, and he tosses me the keys and tells me to get it done.  I’ve never driven before, except when I was about 4 and my dad put me in his lap one time, but does that stop me?  Remember, Bojons don’t flinch.  I’m not admitting that I don’t know how to drive, so I go for it.  How hard can it be?  I’ve seen people do it before.  Well, it was a bit harder than I thought, but I figured it out.   Here I am, 13, driving through the neighborhood with no adult supervision at all.  I didn’t hit anything or anyone, so I guess it was all good.

One day Fritz asked me to take the deposit to the bank.  He’s so scattered and clueless that I guess he forgot I’m 13, so I jump in the truck, drive to Prairie and Northern to the old Republic National Bank, and take the deposit inside.  The lady opens the bag and takes out the money and I almost crapped my pants.  I never thought to look inside, but there were checks and a pile of cash.  There was over 35 thousand dollars in the bag!  The lady said that I must be a good kid if Fritz decided to let me run this in for him while he waited outside.  Little did she know.

I used to tease Fritz all the time about leaving me money.  I also asked him to leave me his old ’62 Cadillac.  True to form, the old prick left it to almost everyone on the planet except me.  I did actually get to teach classes in the Gorsich Technology Building when I taught at PCC.  I made it a point to tell all of my classes that the money that Fritz donated to build that building should have been mine!  I wonder who got my Caddy.

Out of time.  Hopefully not for long.