Nobody ever saw a bathtub without picturing her in it. Not because she was a pretty thing. She wasn’t. But somehow she managed to draw the attention of every kid in East Ward Grade School those early years of the 1950s. Not just the fact she needed that bathtub.
Poor girl had stringy hair and in surroundings where half the kids were wearing clothes their mothers sewed for them out of flour sacks, and wore hand-me-downs, she was conspicuously poor. Conspicuous enough to draw a brand of cruelty most of us probably felt ashamed of while we indulged it.
If she was in line for some reason those coming behind would make a game of trying to not be in line behind her, curling back to force someone else forward, them doing the same.
“Patsy Baines wants to be your girlfriend.” “I saw you walking home with Patsy Baines.”
If I hadn’t been so frightened of being treated the way we treated her I’d have realized a lot earlier in life how little respect I have for human beings.
Wonder why the hell she came to mind this morning. I don’t believe I’ve thought of Patsy Baines in 50 years.
Today on Ask Old Jules: War and Peace?
Old Jules, what are some of the disadvantages of war and advantages of peace?