I was ten when Murray was five. He was
a beautiful boy with long curly blond hair. I had already aged out of long hair
and never had curls, simply white blonde waves. Murray wanted to follow me everywhere, and only
as he grew older did I welcome him. Two houses up the street from our home at
10 Clark Street was a lane entrance to the Legion Hall and its large parking lot.
One late afternoon, Murray and I wandered there. Men came out of the Hall after
some drinks and they looked past me and saw Murray. He was an attraction to them, wearing tiny
army fatigue trousers with large pockets down the sides of the legs, and that curly
hair of course. They were inebriated, and this was one time that being drunk
paid off, for Murray that is. By that I mean the men were drunk. And listen to this. The tipsy men told Murray to hold his pockets
open. They would try to throw money into his pockets. Everything Murray caught in those pockets, he could
keep they said. They threw coins, nickels, dimes and quarters and fifty-cent
pieces. His pants became heavy with cash. Then one man jokingly said, "Let's get
his pants.” Five year old Murray was sure he meant it. Murray took off, faster than Usain Bolt or any other Olympic sprinter and he was home before
the men stopped laughing. They had fine entertainment at a reasonable price.
And me? No curly hair and no cash.