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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Klecko - THE HIDDEN YEARS

Isn't it cool how much street cred Jesus Christ gets, and we really only know about the last three years of his life, and that occasional story we hear from time to time about him doing "His Fathers Work" while hanging at the Temple.

We never hear about Jesus as a teenager, I mean did he have to say "No" to drugs? Was there ever a "Hot" Corinthian chick that tried to make him stumble like the time that pastry chef Squirrel Head broke into my apartment and tried to.....well, and I didn't.

then there is Kid Jesus too. When did he get picked for whatever the Hebrew equivalent to kickball is?

Please don't think I mock the Messiah, I love Jesus very much.....I'm just saying there were a lot of life pages missing from his biography and people want to know what his deal was.

I often wonder if people of the world ever wonder about little Danny Klecko's Hidden Years.

My Mother was divorced back when it was pretty much unheard of,  I was the only kid in Crystal Heights Elementary School with divorced parents. My mother moved us to Crystal MN sometime during the Woodstock Festival.

My new suburban neighborhood was cool...we had like 29 boys and only 4 girls, back then I liked that ratio. Of all the boys I was in the bottom 10% age wise. I've pretty much been surrounded by mentors my whole life.

I remember during summers he used to play a game called Hawaii 5-0 on our bikes, me and 1/2 dozen other squirts would ride up and down Georgia Avenue on our 1 speeds singing the show instrumental sound track while a dozen older boys on 10 speeds would say "Book em Dano" and chase after us.

The goal was to evade our captors and be the last kid busted. A bust consisted of a 10 speed slamming into the side of your 1 speed. Usually we'd fall onto the asphalt, or hit a curb and most of the times the game would come to an abrupt halt so we could mend our scrapes and bruises.

One of the "Older kids from the neighborhood who never played was Joey Trubell. Joey was like our neighborhood Fonzy. He was the first guy (maybe in the world) to ride BMX before there even was BMX.

Trubell had this sic looking sparkling / metallic green Schwinn Sting Ray, and it didn't come equipped with that humiliating "banana" seat that the rest of us had. His bike had a single seat that was covered in fake Lambs wool.

One day a dozen of us had set up a crude wooden jump in the middle of Georgia Avenue and were playing "Evil Knevil." While we did this Joey watched from his garage. He'd lean up against that bike and beat down a Marlboro Red, I swear to Caesar that kid came out of the womb smoking a cig, but anyways....he scoped us out for awhile, that is until Larry Micetell approached the start line.

Larry was one of the few kids that was a little younger than me. we always fought for scraps of attention, street cred or remnants of berry Kool Aid. We were 9 or 10 by this time and I started to find a little more favor with the bigger kids, that is until his family got hit by a train.

I wouldn't make that up, a train hit their station wagon while they were on a family vacation. Dad was killed, mother had a baby in the oven.....the baby died, and the Mom lived but was busted up a bit.

As you can imagine some of the older kids cut Larry a break, and that pissed me off. I couldn't compete against abject travesty! I am ashamed to say that sometimes I'd invite the "Youth Posse" over to my house to play "Larry Micetell."

The rules of this game were simple, you could select any of my Match Box cars or Hot Wheels and you'd place it on the O Gauge scale rail road track, and when that American Flyer came rolling around the bend, full speed, huffing synthetic smoke out of the engine.....you have to scream "Look out Larry!!!!"

When the collision occurred, you'd then make crashing sounds and then start laughing. I'm not talking giggles here, we'd laugh tell our guts hurt.

I regress though, Larry's up at the line getting ready to launch and Joey says to wait up and walks his bike down the driveway and then proceeds to come up the street. When he was around 20 feet away Joey asked Larry if he wanted to give his Sting Ray a try.

None of us could believe what we heard. even the older kids were tripped out. Joey had been know to crush skull of anybody who molested his bike while it was unattended. Once a kid named "Bunce" dripped grape Popsicle on the fake Lamb wool seat cover and the rumor was that he was forced to roll naked through a mud puddle (however that may have been urban legend.)

Larry was thrilled at the opportunity, and Joey actually help swing the young kids leg over the crotch bar before issuing the following instructions........

"OK Larry, if you want to stick your jump, you got to peddle your ass off, get a good head of steam and hit that F-ing jump with everything you got."

The rest of us were in utter disbelief. when I recall the jump, I swear to you I see it in slow motion, just like Knievel's Wembley stadium jump in London!

Larry shot out of the blocks like a bat out of hell. The kids feet turned like well oiled pistons. when the Sting Ray hit the jump, it didn't make the usual thud noise, it whispered. The bike shot up in the air and Larry stood erect on the bikes peddles.

Remember, I'm seeing this right now in slow motion (LOL) and just at the point when the bike stopped going up, and just before the bike started coming down....the fake Lamb covered seat ever so slowly dropped off. Joey had loosened the grip screw.

Larry doesn't know this. He has a big dopey smile on his face. the rest of of screamed "Sweet Mother of Christ!!!" and then "BAM" everything comes back in full speed. The bike lands hard and Larry comes down on the seat pole. You couldn't even hear his Wranglers rip it happened so fast.

There was a shriek like I had never heard before or since. Larry toppled to the side, and sure enough the seat pole was lodged up his butt. He began screaming bloody murder. Usually when something like this happened on Georgia Avenue, the protocol was to bail before adults got involved.

But we couldn't do this. even though I was not a strong Allie, to flee the scene would have been ultimate Judas. Me and a couple other younger kids held Larry down while the older kids tried to yank the bike out of his ass, but no go.

eventually the grown ups did get involved and I sidled off the scene.

Everything was quiet the next few days. Joey Trubell didn't show his face the rest of the summer. Larry told us that the doctor said the pole went so deep it almost knocked his nuts off.

When I asked him if it still hurt he answered in his typical uncouth manner "Every time I turd it pulls off a scab, and I can't go to the Crystal Pool anymore, the chlorine hurts my butt hole."

After hearing that.....I pretty much swam every day.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the brutal recall - and great attempt at disguising the names, but I know the players well and can assure dear readers that every word is true - would I lie???

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  2. LOL, i can't believe i forgot to insert a "Patty Man" or "Beaver" reference.

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