vika 200581
No assembly required
by Sue Mayfield Geiger

We were two young girls and best friends
who found delicious entertainment back in the 1950s.

Our small 2-bedroom, one bathroom tract houses
were identical, back-to-back.

We rose most summer mornings at the crack of dawn.
Not to play hide and seek, or dress-up.

Or go roller skating, bike riding or chalk out
Hopscotch on the sidewalk.

Or fish for crawdads in a rain-filled ditch
Or jump rope or go berry picking.

None of that.

We would hide in back of bushes and patiently
wait for the big trucks.

The ones loaded with refrigerators, washing machines;
any heavy appliance would do.

Eventually one would arrive.

The driver and his helper would unlatch their
load and pull apart the stiff cardboard encasings.

Then load the appliance on a dolly into
a nearby house.

Then we’d burst out of our hiding places
and grab the enormous flat pieces of cardboard

and take off

to our secret place several blocks away near the
railroad tracks.

Put our bodies on our new slick sleds
and race down the hill.

Over, over, and over, giggling all the way.
It was the best fun we ever had.

Best of all, we outsmarted the boys who slept late.
Leaving them the remnants that we left behind.

All ripped, torn, and useless.

PHOTO: Girl with cardboard sled by Vika200581.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In today’s modern society, most deliveries come from Amazon or arrive by an installer, especially for large items. I doubt that cardboard is still used to cover appliances since decades have passed and no doubt, they are wrapped in plastic and handled with the most of care. But for those of us of a certain age, we were always on the lookout for that large piece of cardboard that would feed our youthful imaginations. Aside for becoming a sled, it made a fine fort, a house, a cave, and a nifty place for a game of hide-and-go-seek.

PHOTO: The author (left) and her friend Sandy as children.

75th Sandy Susie

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sue Mayfield Geiger is a freelance magazine writer living on the Texas Gulf Coast. When not writing about home décor, fashion, or a new restaurant opening, she reads and writes poetry. Literary publications include: Grayson Books, RiverLit, Dos Gatos Press, The Binnacle (U of Maine), Of Burgers and Barrooms (Main Street Rag), Red Wolf Journal, Waco WordFest Anthology, Perfume River Poetry, THEMA, Silver Birch Press, Odes and Elegies: Eco poetry from the Gulf Coast, and others.

PHOTO: The author (right) and her friend Sandy at age 75.