Reader's View: Some can never escape being bullied
On a lovely summer morning in 1955, my friend Philip and I decided to ride our bikes to Northland Country Club. It was a three-mile ride from our Lakewood Township homes: no problem for 12-year-olds seeking to make a few bucks hunting and selling...
On a lovely summer morning in 1955, my friend Philip and I decided to ride our bikes to Northland Country Club. It was a three-mile ride from our Lakewood Township homes: no problem for 12-year-olds seeking to make a few bucks hunting and selling golf balls.
Toward the top of Glenwood Avenue, we pulled our bikes down into the ditch and hid them behind the bushes. We began hunting golf balls along the fairway woods.
After finding about a dozen nice balls to sell, we were jumped by four other boys, perhaps three or four years older than us. They demanded our golf balls. I resisted, but one of the boys pulled out a pellet gun and walked us to a clearing deeper in the woods. They harassed us and took our golf balls, jack knives, coins, and (to my surprise) a cartridge of M1 bullets Philip had stolen from his dad. Gleefully, they pushed the bullets into the dirt and began firing the pellet gun at them to make them explode.
While they were giggling and distracted by their fun, I made a run for it. They hollered, chased me, and fired at me, but I made it to my bike and escaped.
After a wild ride down Glenwood Avenue to safety, I pulled over to catch my breath and think out my next move. I was about to bike to Lakeside to call the cops when I spotted Philip biking to join me. They had let him go, probably scared; but they had kept our stuff.
We biked home up Seven Bridges Road. We were broke, tired, and hungry - but much wiser!
Being bullied isn't fun. We were able to flee on our bikes. Imagine kids in rough neighborhoods who can never escape.