My friend Kendall will find out soon if he's going to be on probation and restricted to a state that he's never lived in, or if he'll be sent to prison for 7 years at the age of 63.
This is volume 1 of his story.
I must have met Kendall in 9th grade, but it might have been as soon as 6th grade. Kendall and I went to separate elementary schools. I went to Warren G. Harding Elementary School – the one made famous or infamous in "A Christmas Story" by Jean Shepherd. We lived in Hammond, Indiana – called Hohman, Indiana (after Hohman Avenue) by Jean Shepherd. I lived in the Hessville neighborhood, where my father's neighbor was Mr. Farcus (called Skut Farkus by Jean Shepherd). Kendall went to Oliver Perry Morton Elementary School. We may have met in church as early as 6th grade.
Kendall's face had rough features like a statue whose sculptor never finished. He had a huge shock of red hair that resisted being trained to go in just one direction. His hands were huge.
When we were old enough to drive, Kendall owned a VW Bug, Bob owned a VW Bug, my father owned a VW Bug, and Rich's father owned a huge pimp-mobile. When Rich drove for our weekend cruising, we invited Roger to join us, but mostly four of us spent Friday and Saturday nights in somebody's VW, cruising Miner Dunn Hamburgers, Big Wheel Restaurant, or Route 41 Drive In Theatre. Roger usually dated a bevy of girls he didn't deserve. He wore baggy pants, so nobody would see the effects of his raging hormones. The rest of us double-dated with each other, but the combinations varied, because the four of us never had girlfriends at the same time.
I met my second girlfriend at a church youth group. We met to decorate a youth room in the church basement. I was nailing tongue and groove planks to the wall studs. Pam was handing me the boards. Each time she turned to pull another board from the pile behind us, I marveled at how nicely she filled her white shorts. Kendall painted closets. At quitting time, Kendall was talking loudly and gesturing wildly. We realized he'd gotten intoxicated on the paint fumes in the closet. When I declined his offer of a ride home, Pam said, "Then why don't you walk...
hammond, hammond indiana, harding school, hessville, indiana, infatuation, jean shepherd, linkin mall, miner dunn, morton high school, teenagers, volkswagen, warren g harding
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