The Russian Boogie

There was an old man that had a very old car and lived in an old house that someone dubbed the ‘Russian Boogie’. Don’t know if he was actually Russian, Lithuania, Polish, Slovakian, or an alien, we just knew him as Shuffles or the Russian Boogie. He never ventured out much but when he did you would see him get into his old Black car that never seemed to go faster than 10 miles an hour. If you had the misfortune to run across him on the street, he would point his finger at you and start preaching, “you better be good or you’re going to burn in hell, bad kids burn in hell”. Of course we couldn’t understand too much of what he said with his broken English but we understood the devil and hell part. This was quite traumatic to a kid of nine or so, thinking that we’re going to hell before we even get a chance to do all the things that are supposed to get you that ticket to the “hot spot”. The Russian Boogie must have worn out the soles of a lot of shoes since he never seemed to lift his feet off of the ground but just kind of slid along, hence the name ‘Shuffles’. He was just another of the extraordinary ordinary people that I remember from that time.

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