Memories - Partners In Crime
When I was about 12, my Dad taught me
to do the working acts of the sideshow. I learned fire, swords,
and my favorite of all the Electric act. He had rigged two
machines together and it looked really scary. It made twice the
noise of one and was twice as powerful. So it would go through
many more people lined up holding hands.
We had a science fair at school and I got an A+. Now, I would be
expelled from school and put away for a while in juvenile
detention. I had to take gas, weapons, matches and a few other
props to school. Part of the presentation was swallowing a long
butter knife and eating fire that had been started by igniting the
gas with the electric wand or my finger while holding the wand.
Then, the biggie was having the class line up in a circle. I
would turn on the wand and grab the hand of the kid next to me.
They would do the same all the way around the circle. The last
kid would gently touch the teacher, she is the one that got
I remember another time growing up, I loved to play in the garage
attic. I had a real trapeze hanging from the rafters. When I
would swing real high I could see this place way up there in the
attic. It was full of real neat boxes and trunks. When us kids
would come home from school for the weekend, we would plan a trip
to the attic. It was such a Mystical and Magical place for us
kids. Costumes, magic props, and red wooden boxes each filled
with a new adventure. The Tattoo equipment in one, Giant Rings in
another. Even a huge crate of really Big Light Bulbs. They were
used to light the sideshow tent.
There was this one crate, in the very farthest corner of the
attic. For some reason we couldn't get to it, there were to many
other boxes in the way. So as kids would do. We would imagine
what could be in the mysterious red box. We tried for months to
get to it, but were too small and weak to move the big boxes
blocking our way. When we got a little older, we were able to
move some of the stuff out of the way. By then we could reach the
top with a long stick. So we carefully got the hasp lifted up and
with much difficulty, got the top open a little. Now that we
accomplish that, we were even more eager to see what awaited us.
As we shined the small beam of light from our flashlight into the
small opening at the top of the box, a twinkle of gold met our
prying eyes. We knew then, that we had found the mother load...
My friend Alana, who was my partner in crime. Well we both had
been hunting for treasure since we were 5. She would be there to
share this special discovery with me. We had tried so many times
when we were young and had never been successful in moving all
Now that we were teenagers we had almost forgotten about trying on
the costumes and that red crate in the attic. I think Alana was
the one that mentioned it first. So we decided the time had come
to go collect our fortune. We moved the bigger boxes, so the
single light bulb, would illuminate the area where the crate set.
Since we were little when we first saw it. I remember that it
looked a lot bigger then it did to me now. It was way back under
the eaves of the roof. We being the dummies we were then, could
have just slid the crate out. But no we crawled back under the
roof to open it. We were real chickens then and were not sure
what we would find. We both lifted the lid real slow. We both
could see what now was a gold edge box with a glass top. There
was a sheet of newspaper covering the treasure laying on the
maroon velvet bottom of the box.
Now or never. I think we flipped a coin to see who would have to
move the paper that lay covering our treasure.
For several years before that day we had asked my Dad what was in
the red crate. On numerous occasions since we had found the crate
and finally got it open. He would always smile and say he didn't
remember. Now, I know, that he knew exactly what was in that
I don't remember who lost the toss, and had to move the paper, but
when it came off, we both fell backwards and were so scared we
couldn't even move. In the glass topped box, was a dead baby,
with a huge head. It must be an alien we thought. We were
finally able to scoot back, run down the stairs, out of the garage
and straight to my Dad at the bait shop. He knew exactly what had
happened and started laughing so hard he was crying.
He had sold the life show many years before. But couldn't find
the Water Head Baby that went with the rest of the set. They were
made from wax and were very high quality. When we had found the
red crate he knew the lost was found. But decided to have fun
with us kids. Knowing one day we would eventually find out what
was in that crate.
So even to this day, we now and again laugh over the dead baby in
© 2003 Judy Tomaini Rock, All Rights
Published with the permission of Judy
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