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January 17, 1942 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1942-01-17

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age Eight


BR yBuErtnEavDIE
..yBurton Gavitt

saw them nft the motor out of a '37
Chevrolet for overhauling in Ab-
ram's ge.e'- that he found out that
Eddie Dun the lkid downstairs, was com-
ng upstairs for a couple weeks. Pat
didn't say anything right away when his
:mother said that that was what she and
Mrs. Dunn na been talking about sthat
afternoon when Pat came home from
school. He adn't hung around the
souse but had gone over to Abram's.
"Well, dn't you think it's nice to have
"omeone to shcare your bed with you for
r few weeks, Pat?" Mrs. Lewis asked
"Okay, LC gss--
"Well, sose kids are just never satis-
fed," she s:d:to her husband.
Eddie Du.s) had lived downstairs for
Five years 1 t his was the first time Pat
had ever ha. much more to do with him
than he haw h any other kid in the
cneighborc L For one thing Eddie was
smaller thn te average kid and he had
chapped S in-: s the winter time. Eddie
wiped his rIns nose, on the backs of
his hands _.n hat made them chap
more, and sies that he drank three
glasses of had A milk every day be-
sides what I srsnk at meal times. He
sad to.
The onJy', tissn. that Eddie Dunn was
sood at was mar- les. Last spring in the
'acant lot he een the parked cars
Eddie had seen champ almost every
Say they laeSs. He won all the other
kids' marhLesc ,nd then took them out
with his ttrdit hands and looked at
Most of te tsne Pat saw Eddie as a
small kid .t Lol, marching in to an
assembly 9n te auditorium single file
with his cs;. In any sort of a crowd
Eddie looket.ke'a dwarf. Then Eddie
was always cseIt.tng for someone to pass
the ball to nam when the gym class
:played socce' an the playground be-
tween line .madecrooked by spilling
white hioe isfea tin can. But no one
ever passed t: "Sall to Eddie Dunn: and
some timen e cied, yes, cried, when the
tids grabcd is' hat during lunch recess
before the ds yang. Eddie had cried.
well, twice, is had hollered something
awful for "-c. It had a tassel on the
top that the :tds held it by when they
threw it fres ' e to another while Eddie
danced 1 ee them.
It was ce ftn that Eddie was coming
because ant TEsday night Pat's mother
told him dre Dunn was going away the
next morning and Eddie would be eating
l.unch with tem.
"And clean cur room up and make
cour sbed at'.r, Dunn is coming up
tere tonig "5' baby and you can't let
tim thiik _ .On't keep house.' his
snother adde.
While P r ed his room up and
made the hes ing sure the red striped
bed spread cs smooth, he was con-
scious of the buzzer in the kitchen, -It
had not sounded. yet he could imagine
tts sound and the sound of a door open-
ing followed ay a draft, his mother ask-
ing someone teplease close the door and
someonecc idt the atmosphere of out-
doors harssnsg around his overcoat
coming into the living room. The wait-
tng time went fast existed for a certain
ength of time. and was gone
The bze' finally sounded. It said,
"Hurry, Cots'o. com'on, hurry."
His fathers voice Pop's, in the living
soom and sn.her voice that is not so
well known
Slowly, '"5 _ not to get there with
lis mother w talked through the kit-
ehen and cuse oom. The kitchen fau-
cet drippe ' saw Mr. Dunn and
Eddie in te .- room, Eddie, the hat
esith the t.e n his hand. Mr. Lewis
held his news''viaer limply and was smil-
ng, nodding: cwhat Mr. Dunn was say-
sug about the temperature dropping to
ten above 'ad nout the anti-freeze. It

was a new combination because Mr.
Dunn had never been upstairs before.
His coat didn't fit him right. Or it wasn't
pulled down on his shoulders because it
was too far above his shirt collar. He
didn't have a scarf on and it made him
look fragile, not very much of a chest.
Eddie passed his right hand, fingers
out, in front of his face. He said:
"H'ya, Pat."
"H'ya, Eddie,"
Mr. Dunn stopped talking and passed
his forefinger around the inside of his
collar. Pat wondered where his mother
was. He felt it. Pop did, too, because he
was trying to smile.
"Uh, how long is the missus going to

the floor. He stopped smiling the way he
had been. He was "Pop" again, Pat
sensed, and not Mr. Lewis. Pop was
tuning in on Eddie Cantor's program.
The guests were gone. The living room
was like those old fashioned ones where
people have stopped having fun, gaudy,
tired, the taste of sickishness late at
night sitting on your brain. It always
It became too much in the living room
and Pat took his Popular Mechanics to
his room where it was cooler. He went
to bed early. It was a new idea. "Just
like a brother." It would have been
worth having if the guy was one that

Soon Eddie began to be able to run the
whole way and the other kids saw them
come in, talking about something no one
else knew about. Pat and Eddie began
putting their coats in the same locker,
And when they played soccer on the
playground, Eddie would get on Pat's
team and play center half-back because
Pat would pick him. Pat could see Eddie
was playing better than he used to. So
what if he did drink Grade A milk?
Pat's finding out that Eddie was like
a brother came suddenly. That was after
the kids at school began never to see one
of them without seeing the other. By
that time the novelty of it had worn off
for the other kids.
Along about two o'clock in the after-
noons while the class in spelling was
going, on the brother feeling got awfully
strong, but Pat had to wait until three-
thirty before anything could be done.
He and Eddie would be the first ones
out of school, but they never got down
soon enough to beat the crowd of kids
that went to buy candy at the small
store painted green two blocks way from
the school. The store had clapboard sides.
There was a small oil-burning stove in it
that Pat had never seen work. A circus
poster with a' clown's face that said
July 6 was balanced in the window.
The man behind the counter of the
store had a bad eye that ran. All he ever
had to say was, "Keep back there. Youse
kids'll bust the showcase if you don't
watch out." But you pushed and shoved
to get to the counter almost every time.
Everyone did. Sometimes fights started
on the outside of the crowd. If you got
to the 'counter you slapped your nickel
or five pennies down and hollered for
five of the pieces of green candy with
sugar on it. They came sliding across the
scratched counter from the man's hand
as he brought them out of the box and
you put them in your pocket. Everyone
hollered what they wanted and the man
put the money in the pocket of his dirty
white sweater. Then you pusned out of
the crowd. It was fun pushing with
Eddie, shoving to the door. You can be
rough in a crowd and not get found out.
EDDIE was upstairs in the Lewis' flat
almost every evening and it seemed
to Pat they were more like brothers with
everything that went on. You didn't
say anything about it though. Pat didn't
even think of saying anything. One
night they talked about putting up a
shack in the vacant lot. It would be
easy. Just put a roof over the hole a
steam shovel had begun digging and
some sides to keep the walls from crumb-
ling. That would be in the spring and it
would have a sign, the shack would,
Rangers' Club, over the door. Pat could
get some old stove-pipe from Abram and
have a chimney and roast potatoes and
eat them. They said those kinds of
If they played marbles on the living
room rug the one who wasn't shooting
had to stand with his heels together
and toes apart to keep the marbles from
going under the piano or down the hot
air radiator: The living room was really
too small for big rings so they stuck to
playing square pots.
Pat's father would come into the liv-
ing room after a while and say:
"How about you two joes drinking
some milk before you hit the hay?"
Pat and Eddie would put their marbles
away and go to the kitchen table and eat
graham cracks with their milk. When
they undressed in the bathroom, Pat
could see better how skinny Eddie was.
The fun didn't stop when they got in
bed either. It was usually Pat, though
sometimes Eddie, who grabbed the other
and began to wrestle and pinch. Some-
times the bed clothes came out at the
bottom of the bed and Eddie hollered
because his feet were suddenly cold.
(Continued on Page Ten)


be away, Mr. Dunn?" It didn't sound
like Pop, or as though it was something
he meant to say.'
"My gracious, Harold " Pat heard his
mother say somewhat irritably. "You,
know Mrs. Dunn's going away for a
couple weeks. How are you Mr. Dunn?"
Mr. Dunn stopped fingering his collar
and said:
"Just fine, Mrs. Lewis," and thanked
Pat's mother for offering to take care of
Eddie while his wife was away. He'd
have to be working late most nights, Mr.
Dunn said, and so Eddie might get pretty
lonesome unless he was with someone he
knew real well.
"Well, I'm sure everything will be just
fine. And it'll be company for Pat. Just
like he had a brother." Mrs. Lewis smiled
at the two boys. "Won't you sit down,
Mr. Dunn?"
"No, thank you, we've got a lot to take
care of yet so we'd better say good-
night." Mr. Dunn smiled and took his
hand away from his collar. "Com'on,
Eddie. And thank you again."
PAT'S FATHER closed the door after
the callers. He bolted it with the
nightlatch and picked the newspaper off
a special section with Miss Marquardt
on the first floor".

didn't cry. Maybe it would go by with-
out anybody noticing it. Eddie was in
It was a surprise and felt funny the
next day at noon when everyone was
putting on coats and hats and overshoes
to have Eddie look at him as if there
was something special and say, "H'ya,"
and pass his hand in front of his face.
Pat saw Eddie tell a kid something and
look over to where he was.
"Eddie's staying at your house, isn't
he, hey?" Jimmy Stephenson asked.
"Fun, hey?"
That was the first one. There were
several others.
"Did Eddie's mother die? What hap-
pened?" a girl asked.
They all knew it was so before they
asked and they all said it the same way.
Pat only said a little. You didn't shout
about it when you had a kid like Eddie
living with you.
That was the first noontime Pat and
Eddie ate together. They walked back
to school together and Pat saw some of
the kids whispering at the lockers before
arithmetic began. It helped to know that
he had something over the other kids.
After that on some mornings Pat and
Eddie ran all the way to school, or as
far as Eddie could without stopping.

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