Dr. Spudman44

Dr. Spudman44
Tumbleweed, Washington,
June 06
Dr. Spudman's 44 Ripples of Hope Creations
BANNER BY RICTRESA I live on the border of Eastern Washington and Idaho. I have been a teacher, coach, and mental health worker. I make books for people and write some myself. I tutor a few people. Come visit me at my website. It has some cool stuff. Scroll down to links and click on www.drspud44.net


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JANUARY 25, 2012 11:45AM

Gentle Mabel Took a Life

Rate: 19 Flag


Chapter Five- Gentle Mabel Took a Life




It was almost dinner time this summer day. I was covered with dirt after spending the day with Terry, Brad, Steven, the Kluss boys and the Jensen brothers digging a fort in the gully. Mom was sharing a cup of coffee with the next door neighbor, Mabel, who was holding her head in her hands with her elbows on the table for some reason. Mom took one look at me and cried, “Hold it right there, mister. Don't you dare track that dirt in my clean house. I'll get the broom. Excuse me Mabel.”


She hustled to the closet, snatched the broom, closed the door and stepped out on the porch.


Bobby, I need to talk with Mabel in private for a few minutes. Do you want to go ride your bike to Carlson's and have a burger, fries and a shake for dinner?” she said as she swept me from top to bottom.


Really? Oh, yeah, you bet I do."


You'll have to bring some back for John and Dad too.”


But what do you want Mom?” She smiled at me and patted my head. She gave me a last sweep, stared at me for a long second or two and then suddenly hugged me. I was surprised as Mom usually wasn't the hugging type, thank goodness.


Get me one of those foot-long hotdogs and some curly fries. Now, shoo and don't stop at the bowling alley or the willow trees.”


What's wrong with Mabel?” I asked.


Mom looked around as if someone was listening to us and whispered in my ear, “ Mabel had a tragedy.”


She waved at me, handed me some money and pointed toward my bike. The new, clean me jumped on my trusty bike and zoomed off. I pretended I was being chased by Gus Monrose, the villain in the latest Hardy Boy mystery, The Shore Road , that Mike Jensen had given to me two days ago. I got the order from Carlson's Drive-In and didn't think it would hurt to make a quick stop at Imperial Bowl to get a Mountain Dew and take a wizz. I chugged the pop and resisted playing a few games of pin-ball. I pumped up the last hill with Gus still on my trail and coasted into the carport. I busted through the back door. Mom looked up and pointed downstairs. Mabel was still there.


That was fine with me as the basement was dark and cool. Besides, it was time for one of my favorite shows to come on. I flipped on the black and white console TV and wolved down my burger and fries.






I must have dozed off watching Maverick and woke up when my older brother, John, smacked me on the head with his knuckle. “Where's the food, Bonehead?” I pointed at the sacks, he grabbed them and disappeared upstairs.


I heard Dad leaving later for a meeting. Shortly after the Nash took off, Mom came downstairs, carrying a laundry basket. After starting the washing machine she came over and sat down.


Mabel killed a little boy today,” she said.


What?" I yelled jumping up.


Take it easy, Bobby.”


Why did she do that, Mom?”


It was an accident. She hit him up on Thain Road while driving home in her Plymouth. He rode his bike out in front of her and she couldn't stop in time,” Mom said.


Is she going to jail?” I asked.


No, but there's a problem. She was speeding. Look, Bobby, it's going to be in the paper tomorrow so I am counting on you to make sure none of your buddies starts saying anything bad about Mabel. She's a gentle, wonderful lady and a good friend. She needs our help.”


I'll pound anyone who says anything rotten about her,” I said.


I don't want any fighting! Some people will talk; they always do. Remember, she lost her only son six years ago and still isn't over it. This is a real tragedy, not a TV show. Not only for that poor little boy and his parents but for poor Mabel. I am worried she may never be able to forgive herself,” she said while dabbing her eyes.


I was taking the trash out to the burning barrel that night when I heard some sobs coming from Mabel's back patio. I tired not to spy but saw Ernie, her husband, holding Mabel in his arms. She was crying which for some reason made me start tearing up too. I crept away. I wasn't used to seeing grownups cry.


The next day, I saw Ernie drive away in the Plymouth. Mabel never drove a car again that I remember.

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And you are back with a bang. I never know if your stories are true or not but this happened to a neighbour of mine when I was a child.
It hit me like a rock.
Poor Mabel..
Love you!!
Soooooo good to see you back here!!! And what a story you've woven here. I see in your tags that it's "mostly true." Tragic.

Superbly told and achingly real, whether it's truth or fiction. Hope we'll see more of you here. You've been missed.

There's an old quip that goes "just when our kids get interesting, they leave home." What's equally true is just when we begin to understand our parents, we leave home. Your story reflects the fact that kids don't have a clue that grown-ups are oftentimes just bigger children, filled with the same fears and insecurities.
Blackie dearest!!!!!!!
Happy to see ya once again...
Great writing here.
You weave plenty in so few words.
peace to you this day.
We really get the feel of the kid's landscape when you write these stories from your youth. This is a tragedy indeed and you relay it with a gentle touch, grabbing the era while you're at it.

p.s. As we used to say ... "Sure hope you take off your coat off and stay awhile."
Hi, Linda-Love you right back...
Unbreakable--Geez, thanks for the kind words...
Tom- Thrilled to hear from you again
Mission-Glad to see you too!
Scarlett--What is new? Just started writing again. Looks like this place is fixed? I have hung up my coat--another round of bull, lies, stories, embellishments coming up...
Ahhhh... you're back. ~r
Wonderfully told! Poor Mable, I can understand her never driving again. Sometimes things turn out different than you expect no matter how hard you try and people say terrible things about you. I made mistakes too but I was lucky, the one who got hurt was me and not my kids or someone else's.

If I could I'd never leave my house again but that didn't work. Life is scary but I'm learning to be brave again, to keep going and do the best I can. I'm really glad to see one of your posts again, I got a lot from the ones in the past. Thank you.
Wow. An 89 year old woman hit a child the same age as mine, in fact they knew each other, about a mile from our house seven or eight years ago. He died immediately. It was late in the afternoon and she was going west. It was a terrible tragedy for all involved. This was a great story. I really love your Mom.
Great story, nice to see you back here. Your mom sounds awesome.
Welcome home, honey! yeah, your mom rocks. Poor Mabel...r :}
Very real story. Written nice and tidy, too.
Those stories from childhood, the ones where we remember all the important things even if they're details (who said knowing it was a foot-long dog and curly fries isn't important?) so, in the telling, they're sort of skeleton stories with their bones showing. Great one this time, blackie. So so good to see you, here and there. xo
John Gotti used to live in a neighborhood called Howard Beach in the borough of Queens. One day John's next-door neighbor backed out of his driveway, and fatally struck a boy riding his bike. That boy was one of John Gotti's sons. A few months later the neighbor disappeared, and his body was never found.
This got to me, too, Blackie, after all those years. You spin a mean yarn. Brought back to me a similar situation with my grandpa. We were visiting and my parents took me and my sister aside and told us that grandpa had hit and killed a boy. Same situation except no bike, just the boy darting out in front of Grandpa's Model A Ford pickup. Struck him with the right front fender. That image is engraved in my visual memory. Grandpa rarely showed his emotions, good old German farmer that he was, but an air of gloom hung over him for me ever after.
So great to see you, Blackie. Welcome back. Such a sad story - whether true or not - & so well told.
Hey Dr Spud, nice to see you back and in fine writing form! An enjoyable read. Felt bad for Mabel but love the veiwpoint through the active young boy's mind.
Hey Dr. Spud! great storytelling, sad story. Always a fear of mine too. Nice to see you here Spud.
welcome back, welcome back - what did you boys do in the willows?