This is a story passed down to me, so forgive me if I don't
get all the facts straight. It still is funny and amusing!
The outcome of a fight serves as a reason that my sister Mary
became known as the enforcer. Mary was five years old at the time.
In those days, our backyard was a much more interesting place than
it is today. There was no well tended lawn or chain link fence. There
was a neat chicken coop that served as the unofficial clubhouse for all
sorts of activities. And let's not forget Mrs. Cote who drove through our
property in her Big Hudson!
She was certifiably nuts!
The event in question started innocently enough. A bunch of the kids
from the neighborhood were playing in our backyard. There was alot
of pushing and shoving going on. A boy from the neighborhood
pushed my brother Mike to the ground and made him cry. Without
warning, Mary slugged the boy and made him leave. Though a year
or two younger and probably six inches shorter than her older
brother Mike, she made it known she would not tolerate a bully-
especially one who picked on her brother.
Following the scuffle, I recall Mary's reputation as a "tough cookie"
was enhanced by Mary cracking her knuckles. She would stare
any bully down and reply "Oh yeah" in a menacing way to anything
you said. At precisely the right moment, she would crack her knuckles
The effect was terrifying.
On one occasion, I was told that a little boy, named Leonard, wet
his pants shortly after a confrontation with Mary. Rumor around
the neighborhood was that Leonard ran past our backyard every
time he spotted Mary outside.
Though the chicken coop and Mrs. Cote's Turkey farm are long gone,
the "legend" of Mary the enforcer remains vivid in our imaginations.
I wonder if she still cracks her knuckles...