Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Just as I was walking home from the bus stop this afternoon, I passed Peter Pan's house and Middle Brady Boy was yelling something in a voice I'd never heard from him--loud, authoritative, even menacing.

I slowed down as I got to Peter Pan's front steps, where two other boys were on the ground as Middle Brady looked down at them. "Whoa, (Middle Brady), what's that all about?" I asked, genuinely curious.

He looked up and said eagerly, in his usual boyish tones, "We're playing cops and robbers. I'm the cop."

"And they're the robbers?"


"Wow. You have a great cop voice. Have fun!"

Then I passed the Brady house, where one of the Brady Girls had given me a big wave when I first turned on the block. She and her dad were with her cousin, Brady Bughunter, who was making them laugh while he tried to open a bottle of Gatorade. His uncle finally got it open for him.

I got to my own front steps just as that friend of Joey's I don't like (the guy who sneaks in and out of windows) came around the corner with a friend. Sneaker was walking, his buddy, with a purple-tinged mohawk, was riding a bicycle. Since they seemed harmless in the moment, I carried on and went to open my front door.

Just as I got the door open, I heard Bob the Builder hollering at Sneaker, "Hey, come here! I'm talking to you, punkhead!" Bob and I have a deal--he's the cop-calling, tough-talking bad cop to my "let me find you a program or something better to do" good cop. He seemed to have it down, so I went on into the house.


Anonymous said...

Can you tell me your thoughts on the 5200 block of Wolcott? I just commented on the post before this one but wanted to ask you since you're near there. That is the block I used to live on 5232 S. Wolcott I'd say between 1980 and 1985 or 86. I left when I was about 10 but remember the horrors...... LM

Maritza said...

South of 51st does get significantly rougher, and I haven't been over that way in a little while. Why don't I make an effort to get over there this weekend? If the weather is good I'll take a stroll over there Sunday after church, then post on what it looks like over there.

Anonymous said...

I don't know..... you're not afraid to do that?? I think my mom still has some pictures of what it used to look like, not the whole block but around the house outside. I went to google maps and you can actually navigate through the neighborhood through the most current pictures and it looked so bad. I can't believe there are so many houses boarded up! Right around the block on Winchester, like in the middle somewhere, there used to be a penny candy store and from what I remember I think the lady that ran it got stabbed to death in there. I remember Cornell park is where I played t-ball. How is that park? I went to St. Joseph's for pre-k, then went to Goodlow school because the school around the corner (I think it was Fulton or something like that) was really bad........ LM

Anonymous said...


I think you may be a little too fearful of the hood, you should really visit, while it is bad, it is not fear for your life every second, I can't take a walk kinda of thing, more than anything what scares me is seeing families living in very difficult circumstances, I grew up on Honore and live there up until about 2 years ago, and my aunt still lives in the neighborhood. When it is all you know you really don't think it is that bad...

Maritza said...

Thanks to the anonymous poster above. You said it better than I could.

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