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old basement

Saturday Rain

Wet Saturday mornings when it was cold and raining outside definitely put a damper on my day. The futility of playing outside forced me to ride the range within the confines of our own house-most notably, our neighbors' basement. Finding canyons in which to hide, and ranches in which to ride, were hard to come by indoors. Shoot-outs from behind Mom's ironing board in the utility room were suitable enough, but I just didn't have enough room to move around. Dad was always too busy in the garage to allow me the personal freedom to rid the West of outlaws and unsavory characters in his domain. Besides, our garage was never heated so it was just as cold in there.

At that point it was time to head across the street to knock on our neighbor's door. "Can Danny play?" I asked as I was invited in. Together we played in his basement taking up our guns for some army action. Note that sneak ambushes from under the stairs only worked once; after that it was a given that somebody would be hiding there. Hiding next to the washer or dryer only worked once as well. It was then when the basement games of army offered no more challenges we switched to cowboys. However, playing cowboys offered no more advantages than army. After that we compared monster cards, or swapped stories before I headed back home. Even Danny's basement got to be a bit boring after awhile.

After shaking rain water off my coat, I returned to our living room. My feet always got so cold when my toes were wet, and the feel of the heat coming from the vent felt so good. At home were my coloring books and crayons. The smell of the book's pages, and the waxy scent of my crayons are to this day time travel devices. I believed I could actually smell each color; each seemed to have an individual bouquet above its normal wax smell. Such enthusiasm in my coloring found me peeling off paper to expose more of the crayon once it wore down flat.

My brother had a set of Lincoln Logs and we'd set up great structures for my plastic cowboys and Indians to have epic battles. And as a background to all of this, the television set played; it showed commercials and reruns in syndication of our most beloved shows. Nestle's Quik, Gleem toothpaste, and Marv Tonkin Ford interrupted our shows to present the necessities of modern life. In between my beloved westerns, science fiction tales and afternoon matinees, a rainy day rolled on. Saturdays were wonderful, circa 1962.