Although I never tried riding a rocket, I did poke Joe Melsha in the eyes Three Stooges style. Joe was my best friend. We met when we were this many years old (this is where we held up 3 fingers). As Joe grew up everyone knew that if you wanted to get anywhere fast, let Joe drive. Unfortunately Joe would never grow old. He died about 10 years ago from what was a complication from a surgery that was necessitated from going too fast. When we were kids we ran with a pack of other kids all over the mean streets of Swisher, Iowa. Parents and grandparents let us out the door in the morning and we ran freely all over this huge metropolis of about 500. The noon whistle meant time to go home and check in to make sure we were still alive and eat lunch. Not that we could really get away with anything. Everyone knew everybody and everything they did. And if a kid got in trouble, parents (or in my case it was grandparents) knew about it before the kid did. Like the time I beat up a boy named Jaime. His mom called my grandma and ratted me out. Grandma straight out asked me if I had been in a fight and I answered without hesitation "Yeah, I was." Of course, that prompted the question as to why I felt the need to beat the crap out of Jamie. "Cuz he asked me to pull down my pants, Grandma." Her response? "Oh, my." And that was all and the end of this story.
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