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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

HEY YOU

I don't understand a lot of things today, but why do children trust strangers? I'm fifty four and as a child I was told all kinds of things to look out for including accepting candy, or rides, from strangers. When I was alone I had no problem telling people "no thank you,” even people I knew, but if my little brother was with me he would be opening the car door and crawling in before I could say anything, even to the point of him telling me, "You can walk if you want to, but I'm riding." I knew I'd catch hell if I let him ride alone, so I had to get in the car too. I guess if they'd been murder's they'd have had two little boys to kill instead of one.

I remember once when I was about eight in 1963 I was walking to the store with a note from my mother to buy her a pack of cigarettes, yes that was a different era. I had to walk past Yosemite High School, it was summer so I was only wearing shorts and flip flops. As I was walking past some of the outer classrooms I heard a man's voice say, "Hey, you". I scanned the buildings looking for the source of the voice when I suddenly saw a figure standing behind a screen door all I could see was his silhouette and I just kept on walking. He said, "Hey, you" a couple more times before he said "Hey, you without the shirt, come over here". Well, I was the only person on the street, so I guess he thought I was a dumb ass kid and he had to specifically describe myself to me. I just walked faster and kept looking over my shoulder to see if he'd come out of the building.

After I bought the cigarettes and maybe some penny candy, I walked back home down the same street, but I kept looking at the buildings and looking in the hedges to make sure he wasn't hiding somewhere. I didn't tell my mother until years later because at that age you never know what you’re going to get yelled at for. She said I was smart not to walk over there because he probably would have molested me, murdered me, or both. You'd think here and now kids would be a little more cautious, but every day there’s another one on the news gone missing.

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