|Billy (left) and Me (right)|
They said I ran away from home in Everett when I was three. It's not true. I only wanted to see the giant Santa Claus again at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle. It was an awesome spectacle for a child--a Santa so big that a gift shop could fit in his shoe! And I wanted my friend, Billy Borsheim, who lived next door, to see it. So one day the two of us left on our quest. I didn't realize that Northgate was thirty-five miles away, nor did I think there was anything wrong with going to see Santa in June. I did know, however, even at three, that we needed to walk down the hill a few blocks to Broadway and turn right, and that would take us to Seattle.
So Billy and I walked down the alley between our houses until we got to the street, then turned left to walk down to Broadway. By the time we reached this busy thoroughfare (which was the main highway; there were no freeways then), I had to pee. Across Broadway was a gas station, and I knew gas stations had restrooms, so we carefully made our way across. I asked the gas station man if I could use his restroom, and he told us to wait. We waited, and it wasn't long before a policeman came in. The policeman had us get into the back of his car, and he asked us where we lived. Neither of us could tell him. So he drove up and down the Everett streets, hoping.
After a time, I saw my house, and said, "Hey, you just passed my house!" The cop screeched to a stop on Colby Avenue, and backed up, parking in front of my home. My Mom came out onto the porch, and I got out of the police car and waddled to her. I waddled, because they had never let me use that gas station restroom, and so I wet my pants in the back of the police car. In those days, car seats were covered with fabric, and there was a big, wet, dark spot where I had been sitting.
That's what I remember of the adventure. But almost thirty years later I managed to locate my childhood friend, Billy Borsheim, still living in the area. He came over to visit, and we looked through old photos together, including the one of the igloo of snow we had built together--the one that, when Billy had crawled inside, I jumped on top of and caved it in on him. Anyway, Billy's memory of our journey was a bit different. The main thing he remembered was that, after we reached the end of the alley and turned left and were walking down the sidewalk, we passed a house with the front door open. I pointed the open door out to him, and said, "See that house?"
"Yes," he replied.
"Witches live in that house!" I warned him.
And while we passed by, he stared at that open door and was so terrified that it bothered him for years.
Yep, they said I ran away from home when I was three. But it's not true.
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