When I was 3 years old, my family moved from the attic at 6036 West Byron Street to 5744 West Division Street in Chicago. When I started kindergarten, I would walk to Ella Flagg Young School – sometimes with a little girl in my class. I remember Dick and Jane and “See Spot run. . . .” I just finished the book for the third time. Anywayyyy. . . .
After school, I would walk home, grab my tricycle and pedal furiously down Massasoit Street to Saint Angela School. The school usually let out a half hour or so after I got home. I would cross Potomac, turn my trike around – facing Division Street. And wait. Looking over my shoulder. Soon students in uniform began spilling out of the school. And I would offer – for a penny – a ride on the back of my trike the one block to Division Street. Sometimes the boys would struggle to get the ride. One would hop on the flat stand in back, grab my shoulders and I would begin pedaling like a maniac down Massasoit. At Division, the boy would pay up (I was never stiffed) and I would pedal back to the school. Usually, I could make two pennies. But sometimes it was the lucky three. And I would pedal slowly back home with the pennies burning a hole in my pocket.
I like to think if I’da been smart, I could’ve started a franchise of “Truber” drivers (“Tricycle Uber”). Then again, at age 6, I was just happy to have a job. Now that I’m retired, I’m thinking that if I ever need a few extra bucks, I can bring my tricycle up from the basement . . . . .