Teaching Kids How to Break the Law Legally

Every Tuesday morning my Mom would haul us off to Annie’s so she could get her hair done. Annie’s was a row house in the middle of the block on Spring Street. Assorted woman sat around and talked about the wildest of subjects, They would chitter about bingo, tv shows, air raids and moon landings. They drank Fresca and Tabs. Coffee was served out a Mister Coffee.

The woman paid on the honor system and put money in a plate anonymously. Annie knew how to cut hair but she had no license and no taxes due. Even if she did have a license, she didn’t want to go through the red tape.

When our grandmother joined us on such occasions she would give me some paper so I could sit and draw or write stories. Many times, the paper had a listing on football scores and places you could bet on the out come. I guess I was given last weeks scores. I assumed it was a perk of running the numbers. That is, a nice supply of scratch paper.

There was a family in our neighborhood that owned a Polish meat market downtown. I worked there occasionally and enjoyed the experience. At the time, I had a paper route of one hundred customers. Nobody used coupons at Vic’s meat market. One day Vic convinced me to start clipping the ads from the papers, inserts, and he would send them in for refunds. There were no point of sale systems back then, just a till with paper bills, coins and checks. So it was was easy money.

Fishing was a weird activity to me always as I felt sorry for the fish after they were caught. But my Dad loved fishing as did my brother. On certain days when we had caught enough for dinner, my dad would walk into a nearby cornfield and separate the corn from the stalk. He asked us kids to help carry it back to the car, We had a bin for stolen corn in our garage. Dad popped a beer for the ride home. We had sunfish and corn for dinner.