note to self: start brain before engaging mouth
I had many friends in the neighborhood. Some my own age, and some a bit older. Butchie Cox was one of the older ones. Butchie was a good-natured boy of fifteen. He was kindly tolerant of us younger boys, always ready to play touch football or shoot some baskets. In 1965, the year many were emulating the Beatles and all things hippie, Butchie preferred a crew cut, horn-rims, black jeans, and a white T-shirt.
Once several younger boys and I convinced Butchie to head over to the Baptist church where they had recently installed a full basketball court in the parking lot. As we were crossing the street, I saw this bigger kid riding a double-high bicycle.
Basically, you take the wheels off one bike and weld it on top of another bike. Then get an extended chain to reach the wheel down in back. There must have been a real knack for climbing up, and getting on that thing. When I saw the older kid riding on it, I was amazed.
Before I knew it, I pointed and said “Hey! Look at that dumb kid”.
As soon as the words were out, I knew it was a mistake. That kids head snapped around and looked at me with pure fury.
“What did you say?” he snarled.
My world went icy cold with fear. I must have looked as white as a ghost. But then I heard Butchie answer:
He said, "Hey! look at that dumb kid”.
The kid on the bike looked down at Butchie, swallowed and said “Just asking” and rode away.
Butchie then turned to me and said “You need to control that mouth of yours”.