Last week we saw a little Cañon City episode involving a youngster named Earl Cecil. Today's tale is set in the same locale at about the same time.
The Tuttles lived about three-quarters of a block west of us at, oh, say, about 610 Mystic Avenue. The Tuttles had two children, twins Carl and Carlene who were about the same age as I which at the time of this event would have been eight.
Mr. Tuttle, or Rev. Tuttle as he was known in the community, was pastor of the Four Square Gospel Church a few blocks south on Fifth Street. Thus it was that Carl and I had this in common: we both lived in a preacher's home. Not the same one. That is about all we had in common except the neighborhood, for we did not cotton to each other, so to speak. I don't know if this had anything to do with the fact that our parents' churches might have been competing for the same clientele, or if we simply didn't much care for one another.
The setting is the garden behind the church were I am standing on the east verge of the veggie patch. Father was four or five rows into the garden with a hoe. He was intent on what he was doing and about then who should swagger up the alley beyond but Tuttle. Carl, I mean. In my memory's eye, Tuttle always swaggered. Carl stopped opposite me, stared in my direction, his version of the evil eye, I think. I stared back; neither of us said a word. He bent to the ground, picked up a donie and heaved it in my direction. Missed me, but with no formal declaration, war was on. I bent and grabbed a rock, threw it toward him. Missed by a mile. Even my own dad would tell you I throw like a girl. Oh, that I could throw like some of these modern-day high school softball pitchers.
So Carl grabbed his second missive and wham! Hit me square in the middle of the forehead. Blood spurted, bells rang, and I, with all the strength my little eight-year old lungs and larynx could exert screamed, "YOU! DEVIL! YOU!"
Instantly my male parental unit became aware of my existence, dropped his hoe, took three or four quick steps toward me, grabbed my arm, and without a word hauled me into the house. With no attempt to assess the damage to his only male offspring, he, in emulation of Mother Hubbard, spanked me soundly.
Then he cleaned the wound and patched me up.