Soap Gets In Your Eyes

This happened outside of our house on Dulany Street over 50 years ago and I can still remember it almost as clearly as when it happened. After describing the event, it should become clear as to why that is. Let me describe the people involved; on one side of us lived the Nida’s, most will remember Ronny and Donny and Danny, but may not know much about Chester the father. Chester or Chug as his wife called him, was a big old boy from Tennessee. He actually wasn’t that old at the time, probably around 40 or so. Chester was bald as a cue ball and one thing I remember about him is that he had huge hands, about as big as my head. He was a guy that when he spoke it was so soft and low that you would sometimes have a hard time hearing him. He also had that distinctive Southern dialect that can sometimes be hard to decipher for those not from the South.

On the other side of us were the Gallions. Boogles, as he was called by my father and others, was a World War II veteran that fought in the islands against the Japanese. Word has it that he picked up Malaria while there, and that probably explains the strange change in behavior when drinking, as the malaria probably exacerbated the effect of the alcohol, as he would go from being a real calm quiet individual to one who seemed the complete opposite of that. Also living there was his father, who was known as Grandpop. Grandpa Clarence was one of those guys who although in his 60’s or so, still thought that he was a young buck and would get out there and try to mix it up from time to time.

Chester had recently bought a beautiful Chevy, Green body with a White top. I can’t remember the model, but it was similar to the car pictured here.

So on this beautiful day, Chester was out washing his car in front of the house, minding his own business when Boogles started giving him a hard time. I don’t know what led up to it other than Boogles had probably had more than a few in him, Grandpop was there also, and as Boogles continued to harass Chester, he did his best to ignore him, just going about washing his car, and probably hoping that Boogles would go away. As Chester had his back to them, all of a sudden, Grandpop came up behind him and grabbed the metal basin that Chester was using to clean his car, picked it up, and came down on top of his head with it.

As Chester tried to get the soap and water out of his eyes, the two began to pummel Chester with blows to his body. Eventually Chester was able to get enough of the soap out of his eyes, and laid a haymaker with his big right hand on Grandpop, and Grandpop went down like Joe Frazier after George Foreman had clocked him. Boogles tried to land another blow or two but quickly ran to the safety of his house and stood in the doorway, mumbling back at Chester. Before long the cops arrived and placed Chester and Grandpop in handcuffs. Boogles continued to yell out from the doorway as Grandpop told him to stay inside, not to come out. Of course he didn’t listen, and he do wound up taking a ride down to Southwest Police Station as well.

There didn’t seem to be any hard feelings left over from that day as Chester and Boogles would often get together and have a few until a tragic accident ended Boogles life here on earth. It was quite entertaining living there on Dulany Street back in the 60’s. As they say, “never a dull moment”.

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