Winter on Beacon Hill was one long slip & slide down the slushy streets. Landlords didn’t seem to care if tenants fell flat on their back coming out of their apartments, and most tenants felt that if it were the landlord’s duty to keep the sidewalk clear, they’d be damned if they’d do it. So everyone slipped and slid.
One morning feeling particularly civic-minded, my friend Billie got me out of my warm sleeping bag to go downstairs and shovel the walk in front of the Folkie Palace. While doing it, we attracted several guilty looks as windows opened, heads popped out, and people scrutinized the strange sights and scraping noises of a sidewalk being cleaned.
In a few minutes, we attracted a few more assistants, and after clearing our sidewalk, we moved along to the building just downhill from us. That building was an infamous location where you’d almost certainly risk plunging into the street from a slip.
From across the street came a snowball hitting Bill square in the back of the head. In no time, a snowball fight erupted between the two sides of Grove St. Our side had excess workforce, and we rapidly deployed that excess in constructing defensive ramparts. Cries went out across the street of “No Fair!” They doubled down and called forth reinforcements from inside. Bill decided to sally forth from our defensive position behind parked cars and high snow berms. The offensive got beaten back by the concerted efforts of a battalion of mothers and their children. Our skirmishers returned to our side of the street. They were refreshed by the Folkie Palace Auxiliary’s hot cocoa.
By this time, the combatants easily numbered thirty to a team. Through traffic had slowed to a crawl as valiant groups of sappers, skirmishers, and heavy infantry used the traffic to veil thrusts into enemy territory. Not a single garbage can on the street had a lid as we snatched them up to use as shields.
It was inevitable that someone would call the Fuzz. And somewhere into the half-hour mark, we heard the approaching siren of a police car making its way through the congested streets of Beacon Hill. Bill called a hurried truce with our valiant opponents. All action ceased as everyone stood around peacefully. Eventually, the squad car pulled up, a window opened, and out came Officer Cappuchi’s head. “What the hell’s going on here?!”
From across the street came the cry of ” get the Fuzz!” Both sides erupted into a fusillade of snow as the squad car got pelted with dozens of snowballs.
As rapidly as it had started, the entire street emptied of combatants. Officer Cappuchi knocked the snow off his cap, looked directly at the windows of the Folkie Palace, and hollered out – ” and don’t do it again, you worthless bunch of hippies!” As the squad car moved down the street, Bill opened the window and hollered back, ” and that’s Folkies to you, Officer!”

6 Replies to “Confrontation”

      1. This morning, I took your advice Lou…. I skipped my physio and all the rest and allowed myself to have a little fun here on WP. Can’t be all work and no play, right?! Good to pop back in and good to see many of you on here still. I miss our little group!

  1. It’s funny you mention that. I checked your site last night to see if I had missed any of your posts. Well, work and life do have ways of distracting us from fun.

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