Posted on May 2, 2022 by Catherine Sevenau
Chapter 32: 1947 • Sound ~ My siblings weren’t angels in disguise as they strode through the house like a bunch of young pagans. The kids didn’t just have control of the house, they had control of the city. Most summer days, the older three were out exploring and swimming, roller-skating the cracked pavements, and cycling up and down the steep hills. Claudia tried to follow, but she was too small.
The rest of the time they spent terrorizing each other. Across the creek, Kelley’s Central Motors sold new and used cars, mostly Chevrolets, and the mechanics working out back witnessed the children’s shenanigans. While mum and dad were at work, there was free rein to this pack of wild animals pretending to be children. Dad left his advice to the church; Mom left it to the winds.
At 12 and 13, things changed between Carleen and Larry. It became the three girls, Carleen, with Betty (seven) and Claudia (five), against Larry. He was now a young boy with too many sisters whose sole purpose in life was to torment him. They were constantly sneaking into his room, so he convinced mom and dad to let him put a padlock on his door. However, that didn’t stop Carleen and her little minions.
Next time Larry was working, she pulled a chair out of her closet, balanced a stack of books on the seat so she could remove the wall panel between the two bedrooms, pulled herself up, pulled Claudia first so Betty could help push her, then worm through the crawl space. Dropping into Larry’s adjoining closet, they were now locked in his bedroom. They spent the afternoon on his bed, listening to his new radio, reading his diary and his comics, rummaging through his coin and stamp collections and stealing his chewing gum.
When they heard his key in the padlock, they realized they didn’t have time to go back up to the closet. At first they laughed, but Larry was crazier than they had ever seen him. “Course!” cried Carleen. She and her two shadows, their four bony legs rushing behind her, slipped away as he examined her crumpled gum wrappers, spilled coins, and strewn magazines.
He hated not having control, resented not having privacy and furious at not having peace. Screaming and screaming, the girls rushed to the bathroom, the only room in the house with a real lock. Panting behind the locked door, Betty and Claudia cowered in the corner as Carleen waited.
To be continued…
Catherine Sevenau is a writer, comedian and storyteller living in Sonoma, California. The stories in this series are excerpts from his book, Through any door, a family memorythe full memoir is available at .Sevenau.com. Catherine is the author of three books, several volumes of family genealogy, and a longtime Realtor/Broker with CENTURY 21 Epic Wine Country. She can be reached at [email protected]