Leonard G was another kind of bully. An independent bully. A big, heavy kid of black hair and black heart.
Forcing pain on other kids was his lifesblood.
I forced back one day on the playing field and would've been murdered i think, save for an unexpected intervention:
"No, leonard! Don't do it! For my sake, don't hit reid!"
Bobby Chumbley saved my doze that day and I never forgot his instant, manly aid.
Leonard left me with a sneer and a warning.
I watched him go through middle school and high school. Always a controller, always malevolent.
I read about him in the paper a few years back. The family business a ''' products company here in Miami.
The largest in the South. He had taken over from his aging and ailing dad not long before.
Newly expanded, hundreds of new employees. Gross annual revenue- i kid you not- of four billion dollars per year.
So, bullies DO not finish last, not always.
more Epilogue: Eddy T I last saw at the 1992 twenty year reunion. An attorney in private practice then, upstate. A very convivial, glad-handing, still Cagney-looking fellow. Forced his card into my hand with a two handed hand shake. No hate and no imbalance that i could see in him anymore.
The lunks who once abandonned Eddy on the battlefield? One i know met with an early end of dissoluion. Another I ran into quite by accident in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. A broken spirited broken shell. Full of Jesus and quite clearly a babbling mental case professing all his love and salvation comes from Jesus. Not his fault-it was some sort of chemical problem in his brain. So sincerly well-wishing to me, and taking care of his dying mother even tho he had no employment nor other family or prospect for future happiness.
I suppose by now he is evaporated and here I give a final mourn for that once formidable giant who was really never more than just another lost child.
Coral Gables Elementary School.
A beautiful old building- do a google. in America's most well planned city, "The City Beautiful".
My dad attended there. So did I.
now it is 1965 again.
Eddy T is one of the few students smaller than i.
He's a tough kid, though. As Irish in manner and swagger as James Cagney.
He hangs with giant, cretinous lunks who even at age 11 loom large over the elementary population.
Eddie is always proving himself worthy of association wth the foot-taller big dogs by acting the part of wise-guy tough guy.
He jeers and works me to get my temper up every chance. He sticks his face into mine and threatens. I shove him away and aim a pencil at his arm like a dagger.
"HEY, you STUCK me!!" "NOW you're gonna get it!!"
His lunk-head protectors all laugh at this comedy.
"Yeah, Welch- you and EDDY are gonna have to fight this one out!"
Eddy says "YEAH! After school today you are coming with US" he says with a sweeping gesture to his three goliath protectors.
But i know, i know, the fight is strictly between Eddy and myself.
Class lets out. We five leave the grounds on foot. We march across Ponce de Leon Bld, down Minorca a few doors to an allyway between two buildings. THIS is the place for the fight.
GET him, Eddy!
And the fight is on.
Five seconds of footwork. Eddy dances within my superior reach.
"OWWWWWWWW! By Doze!"
(that's Eddy talking, not i)
A dripping of blood from a pug's nose. No more fight; both hands to his face and tears already starting.
"SHEEEESH, what a *****!" unisoned the three hulks. Off they stalk in disgust. Fight OVER.
Eddy and I are left alone.
We walk the block together to the Bus Terminal.
He goes his way, i go mine and never was there another cross word between us.
I hung alone after that day.
So did Eddy T.