So this is the story…


My earliest years are remembered with a lot of one-sided yelling and throwing things and crying. I learned early in my childhood not to make mistakes. If I did, the correction would come with much swearing and a thin black and silver belt.   Like one of the few times Dad drove Mom to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store…

Me, Fred, Mom - 1958
Me, Fred, Mom – 1956

Mom was filling the cart with various food items and I walked alongside of her eyeing all the stuff. I was probably about five years old.  My older brother was with us, but our little sister was being watched by the grandparents. Then, we came to the freezer section and the escaped cold air could be seen when the freezer door opened and the ice-cold clouds briefly hung in the air.  It was a steamy, summer day. The ice cream section and I looked it over closely. I noticed many of the Fudgecicles, Cheerio bars and ice cream sandwiches were scattered about the entire section; they were not neatly in a stack or pile and it was obvious that other kids had helped themselves, why, the wrappers were even gone from some.  Mom would never let me have one and I could actually taste the cold, chocolate coating of my favorite, the Cheerio Bar.  I took a couple of them and stuffed them into my pockets.  We made our way to the cashier at the front of the store and we waited in line.

While we waited Mom asked, “Did you take anything Steve?”   Apparently, I had sticky fingers,

I looked slyly about and said, “No.”

“What’s that bulging out of your pockets.”

“Uh, I dunno,” and then she felt with her hand.

“Steve,” she sighed. By now it was our turn and she handed the treats to the store manager and apologized. “I didn’t even see him take them, I’m sorry.”

The manager wasn’t fazed in the least and said, “Kids take them all the time. He can keep them.”

Mom had to make a point though and said, “No – it’s stealing!” We walked outside pointing the bag-boy to Dad’s blue Apache 10 panel truck. I climbed in the front and made my way to the back amidst the paint, wallpaper, ladders and such; I found a drop-cloth to sit on, and waited in terror.

Shhhhh...
Shhhhh…

I heard Mom tell Dad that I had taken some ice cream and then the tirade began complete with yelling and swearing, “You’ve got a lickin’ comin’ when we get home,” Dad was furious.…

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

2 comments

  • I’m just surprised that you’d even remember such accounts at 3.5 wow, but it’s a funny/cute and I’m sure bitter sweet memory I liked it. Is this the excerpt from the beginnings of a new book?? 😉

    Like

    • I do remember the story vividly, however; I was thinking that I was about five but I discounted that line of thought because I don’t recall my sister and I am four years older than her. As for my writing, I just write mostly true stories with a few also of the fictional genre and some day will put them in order. My long-term memory is extraordinary though I have no short-term memory. I forget many things, minutes after something has been told to me. Thanks for dropping by again and for your smile.

      Like

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s