Up until the time we lived in Spokane I always had a crew cut, that is, when I did get a haircut. Here we had a barber down the hill from us, one of whose specialties was Roman haircuts (think Spock from Star Trek or Laurence Olivier from Spartacus). They were cool.
Our house in Spokane was two story, three if you counted the basement. I didn’t spend much time down there. The stairway was wooden and creaky. Once down, it was earthen, floor and walls. All that was down there were the washing machine, a slop sink, and clothes racks for drying. No glowing furnace, a la Home Alone, that would have sent me back up the creaky stairs in short order.
My room was on the top floor. It was set in a dormer, and very narrow. I shared it with my brother and sister. I don’t know how we three kids all fit in there. Our beds must have been all lined up lengthwise along one wall.
From the one window at the end we had a view of the back yard, the parked Nash, and a small shed at the edge of the property. And a balcony seat the night the shed caught on fire.
When we looked out, the whole shed was engulfed and a nearby tree partially burning. Only partially because the fire department showed up in time to dowse those flames. Luckily the Nash wasn’t touched.
The next day I inspected the site. The smell of charred wood was strong, but I was fascinated more by the small glass window that had been in the shed’s door. It now laid on the ground looking like silk cloth in elaborate folds, as though it had melted in place and cascaded down. It resembled the ribbon candy that we used to get at Christmastime.
We never found out what caused it. There was speculation that it had been set by a neighbor kid. It wasn’t us you can be sure.
I was over playing with matches by this time (except with those in the toy cannon a few years after this in Salem, MA – noted on a previous post). By then I was having my hair cut differently, with a part on the right. And it’s been that way ever since.