Billy Steinkellner in 1954.

17 Jan

I am five years old. My dad is still alive and sometimes takes me for rides on his bike as he sneaks off to Sieben’s Tavern to get a beer. I ride in the basket on the front of his bike. (I can still feel the spring breeze on my face.) When we get there I have a root beer.

My momma is still healthy and walking around. When we go to the A & P she leaves me by the spinning wire rack of Little Golden Books. While she shops I read and read and read.

My best friend is a girl named Jackie Wolf who lives farther down the block close to the fire station. Her brother and sister are fraternal twins.

Jackie and I play under the steps of her front porch. We play pirates most of the time. We pretend to tie up our invisible prisoners and torture them. It’s a great way to while away the long summer days.

I am supposed to take a nap in the afternoon but I’m not sleepy. So, I play possum and listen to my brothers coming home from school.

Then my dad died. My mother got sick. And we moved to different neighborhood.

One day everything was fine and the next day it was as if one of the continents had broken away from the rest of the world forever.

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5 Responses to “Billy Steinkellner in 1954.”

  1. Jonathan Stark January 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM #

    A wonderful piece, Bill.

  2. Dan Frischman January 17, 2012 at 1:26 PM #

    Very nice; melancholy. A child’s awakening of harsh reality; extra tragic at that age.

  3. SiouxP January 17, 2012 at 2:29 PM #

    The contrast between the picture and the story really captures the emotion of such a sad
    Time . Where was your guardian angel on that day? The faces of the children–look as though only the best that the world has to offer would be theirs. your story underscored
    The brutal suddeness of a tragedy that would profoundly alter your world. Beautiful, beautiful Bill. LOL Sioux 🙂

  4. Darla Sharp January 17, 2012 at 4:34 PM #

    I’m all verklempt. gulp!

  5. Rachel January 4, 2013 at 6:35 PM #

    Since my mother never discusses any of this, I guess I need to read more of these stories of yours to learn about my grandparents and her childhood. Thanks for sharing them.

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