Jim And Jerry

Looking back on my childhood in the 1950’s and early 1960’s , there are many characters at least in my case that are forever etched in my memory. Two of these are Jim an Jerry. They were brothers and at the time the bad boys of the middle class blue collar neighborhood where I spent my childhood.

One incident I remember involved the new bow and arrow set that I got for my birthday. This was a real target set that I had with pointed arrows (not the kids arrows with suction cups) and a wood bow. I would be very careful and set up the target in the backyard using the garage as a backstop in case I missed the target. We’re not talking about a big area, maybe a distance of about 30 yards. One day Jerry stopped by and we were taking turns shooting at the target. Apparently this was too boring for Jerry so he took one arrow and shot it into the air pulling back as hard as he could in the direction of his house. I was terrified that he could have killed or maimed someone. Jerry was always doing something like this stunt from time to time. We never did find where that arrow landed. Most likely the houses being close together, it landed safely on someone’s roof. 

Then there was the incident with the homemade bubble blowing solution in a big glass jar setting on backyard steps of my next door neighbor.They had four kids and back then, bubble blowing passed away some time while on summer vacation. Kids in the neighborhood could not afford to constantly buy the little bottles at the many surrounding drugstores and it was much easier and cheaper to mix your own solution that would last weeks. A little water, dish washing liquid and maybe some glycerin made just as good of a solution as the purchased store bought mixture. I had a air rifle that I had gotten as a Christmas or birthday present, don’t remember, but again I was always careful with it and did not damage property. Probably wasn’t a good idea to have one in the city, but never the less I had one and was careful. Jerry came over and I had my rifle loaded and shooting at the homemade target. Well Jerry wanted to shoot it but instead of aiming at the target, he took aim at the bubble blowing solution sitting on the neighbor’s back steps emptying the contents in about 10 seconds. This time Jerry was banned from the premises for a while and I was without my air rifle for awhile.

Not all my memories involving Jerry were bad, I remember that actually these brothers were quite ingenious. I remember the bikes they rode. They were modified 20 inch frame bikes modified with higher handle bars and different wheels and other modifications so an adult sized person could comfortably ride them. They also built go carts using discarded lawnmower engines. I don’t know if they actually did all the work themselves , but pretty sure the ideas were their own.

These are just two of the individuals I remember from the old neighborhood. It seems like there were many kids I remember from this small area on the hilltop in Columbus, Ohio. Everyday was an adventure. Probably the best time of my life.

Not like I remember my childhood home, but still brings back happy memories for me.

50 + years takes a toll on property if not kept up.

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