School had began, once again, in the little town of El Dorado, Illinois. During the last days of August and the first few of September the classrooms were hot and the days dragged by as if they were suspended in slow motion. Tommy was especially sleepy and required nudging several times per day. Daryl had began the third grade in the Southern Illinois town and he had a distinct English accent. He was an outgoing friendly person with a razor sharp brain and the ability to communicate his ideas at a level that Billy Bump had not witnessed for his age group.
Another friendly classmate was Jeff who’s parents owned a hardware store in town. He walked up to Billy one day and announced that he wanted to be friends. Billy had not experienced such an open and genuine desire to be friends on a regular basis, was very pleased to have Jeff as a friend. Jeff told Billy that he reminded him of the Peanuts character Charlie Brown. He went on to state that if Billy was Charlie Brown that he would be Snoopy.
Billy visited Jeff’s home and recalls, these many years later, that Jeff was eating the crips remnants of fried potatoes out of the skillet after dinner was completed and Jeff’s mother telling him that he should not be doing that with a guest present. Jeff responded that, ‘But mom…I do it every night?’
Jeff had a brother that he talked about with Billy…who he said was ill and he became sad when he spoke of him.
Quicker than Billy thought that it would happen the weather began to cool off and the classroom became comfortable. The Halloween decorations went up on the bulletin boards and Billy’s favorite season of the year had commenced!
Carl said that his mom had purchased a tremendous Halloween costume for the holiday! He went on to describe the full mask of the robot on the television program Lost in Space. He also had both pants and shirt with the images of the robot’s body on them. Carl performed an excellent rendition of the robot! He was acclaimed throughout the grade school!
Now Billy had a full mask of a Cherokee Indian, of which he had significant lineage! And so the plan was that this would be the year not only for candy…but candy bars…and not only for popcorn balls…but dollar bills as well!
The plan was for Daryl and Jeff and Carl and Billy to team-up for the great event and see what came of their allegiance?
And so the intrepid four set out along Illinois Avenue just down from Hillcrest School. They knocked on a new home and were invited in while the owners retrieved the holiday treats. Billy noticed that the family appeared to be upper class folks and although he understood that there were people in El Dorado that lived differently than him, he was amazed at the sunken living room and the polished demeanor of both the mother and father and his classmate Kim.
Kim’s dad told him to ask his friends if they would like some punch and Carl told Billy, ‘See…what did I tell you…the quality costumes are working there magic already!’
Suddenly Daryl was dancing the highland fling in a kilt with bagpipes and Jeff asked Billy if he would like to meet his brother? Billy was feeling very dizzy and Carl kept repeating, ‘That does not compute!’
Note: Photos are courtesy of Google.