Schleprock In The Ravine

22 Jun


So unreal…So scary… So funny…So benign…So weird… So surreal…almost too fantastic to be real. I guess it just one of those childhood adventures that seemed to follow me around in a schleprock kind of way.
Circa 1978
Every summer we went from Thunder Bay to Toronto and go to hockey school and stay at my Uncle Mike and Aunt Shirley house on Brooklyn Ave. by Avenue Road and Lawrence Street area. One time we (me and my friend Donny also from Thunder Bay) were crossing the ravine going to the store on Avenue Road (Brooklyn was a short dead on street that was broken up by a small ravine) it was a short walk from my relatives house to Beckers on Avenue.

As we are crossing the ravine we notice some older teenager ( we are about 12yrs old) being loud and rambunctious at the other side of the ravine, getting to Avenue Road meant walking past these teenagers. Me and Donny exchanged nervous looks as we proceeded toward the top of the ravine. Before we got to the stop one the teenager shouted (looking our way) “get them!” and then about twenty teenager boys and girls were running our way Donny look at me wide eyes “ F#%*~king run Rollie! I take off one way Donny goes another way. They were hot in pursuit (looking back I still don’t know if it was just a teenage lark or they meant business!) Nonetheless there was a bunch of teenager in  pursuing me like a pack of wolves  and  they weren’t letting up! I was running like a jackrabbit running from yard to yard over fences landing hard, through hedge bushes and short fences fuel by fear..adrenalin… fears …athleticism..and more fear .The final fence I went over I landed hard on my back; the next this I see and feel is and oldish man with a big ass wrench in is hand cocked to brain me while  his other hand held me by the collar. I blurt out “they are chasing me” I didn’t recognize my own voice- laced with primal fear and adrenaline.
He said something about hooligans and calling the police on me. Maybe the years has fuzzed the lines, but what follows is the way I remember what transpires on that bizarre summer day. He bring me into his house,still a wrench in one hand me by the collar.Once in the house I see an oldish woman who is apparently his sister; he send her to the garage to fetch a rope so he can tie this hooligan (me) up! So that he can call the police. She return with a suitable rope …with my arms at my side he wraps the rope around me a couple of time and ties a knot, with the balance of the rope dangle to the floor. He then talks to his sister, they discuss about if they should put me in the cellar (which I don’t like the sound of) or keep me in the kitchen. They decide to keep me in the kitchen where they can keep an eye on their tied up 12 year old prisoners.
I guess when they had the police on the phone I guess I gave them info on where I was staying and the phone number . Because the first to show up was my aunt and Donny with their dog Rocky. The old man brought me to the door I was tied up lamely he was holding other end of the rope in case I had plans to bolt. I said to Donny through the screen door in a voice I still didn’t quite recognize  “ hey Donny wanna come in” I remember he made a duck lips face nodding his head in a no motion. The police quickly pulled up. I remember a black officer had a “what the F*%#*K!?! Going on look  on  face” . He said to me ” you all right son”. he took off the rope and ask me if they hurt me. I said no which was true.I had some cuts and scrapes in the chase. If a had the wherewithal when he asked me I would have made the circular motion beside my head indicating coocoo  inside. He then shifted from me to my crazy misguided abductors and had strong words with them which I don’t remember because I was walking  out the door to my friend and Aunt. It was lucky my uncle was out of town that night..I will leave it at that.
This story become lore among Thunder Bay teenager house party in the 80’s. I remember Donny couldn’t even hold it together retelling the story laughing to coming to the front door “ with the Vigilante grey hair man at the other end of the rope I was tied to…People would listen laugh ..and look toward me and say “Rollie you really got tied up”….I would shrugged my shoulder in that “ Buck Friendly” kind of way and sheepishly say yeah that was me.





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