My mother had disciplined (this poor little angel) me for the umpteenth time in my life, this time once again sending me to the corner until I behaved (sometimes, this lasted for at least ten minutes-an eternity in my book), the other choice of punishment was that of being told to go out in the backyard and select a switch for use as a disciplinary tool on me, I liked this one, as I usually found one the sturdiness of a piece of a wet noodle, which on occasion- brought out laughter and admonishment by my mother- ‘This is not going to do young man”; she said this many times in my life.
Already at the grown-up age of seven, curly reddish hair, many freckles, knobby knees and now I was really upset with her. The thought of independence occurred to the little victim (me). Having seen many hobos in my long life, I longed for freedom and informed her that I was leaving home.
Of course, what to take? My mother volunteered to help me pack my ‘leaving home luggage’; this being similar to that of a small pillow case. I now had my most treasured small possessions, and of course, my toothbrush. I told my mother goodbye; she hugged the now child hobo, wishing him well and opened the large front door, waved me off, and off I headed to independence and no rules – I thought.
This real-life event took place in the mid-afternoon and fortuitously, the weather was good, not too hot and not too cold for a California day. The now child hobo walked about a hundred feet, looked back at the big door and smiled with satisfaction. I looked in my hobo catch and there was a piece of candy, I immediately devoured it, as all of this walking and planning wetted my appetite. I sat down on the high curb at the corner of 51st, looked around for a direction to head, smiled and savored my new independence from rules and there I sat pondering my destination. *Unbeknownst to me, my mother was at a window watching; of course, this didn’t occur to the little hobo.
About 5:00 PM, after at least an hour into victorious freedom, the little hobo observed his father pulling into the driveway on 6th Avenue. He headed up the steps, looked back and saw me sitting at the curb. Being concerned as to the young hobo’s plight at the curb, my father walked over and sat down next to me. My father asked me what I was doing here sitting on the curb? Among the uncontrolled sobbing, the young hobo gathered all of my inner strength and told him that I was leaving home.
My dad with a heart of gold asks the young hobo, ``Why are you sitting here at the curb, to more uncontrolled sobbing, the little hobo stated “*I AM NOT ALLOWED TO CROSS THE STREET”.
My dad took my hand, and we walked back to the safety of family and home. So much for being a child hobo.