Monday, September 22, 2014


Until I was in the fourth grade, I’d never had access to a library. That year, I attended school Morton, Texas. To my delight, the city or county bookmobile came to the school and our class was able to check out books on alternate weeks. That was when I was introduced to Nancy Drew.

For several years, I read every Nancy Drew novel I could find. After my family moved to Lubbock, Texas, my best friend Karen and I spent hours pretending we were girl detectives and were certain we would go on to open our own detective agency once we graduated from school.

I’m certain that we drove our parents crazy by seeing crimes where there were none. We were suspicious of everyone except our own families. You’ve heard the story of the boy who cried wolf, right?

One day when Karen’s parents were gone somewhere for the day, we were babysitting her bratty sister. We had strict instructions to stay inside her house. We were listening to the television or radio, I don’t remember which, when we heard the news flash that there had been a robbery only a few blocks from her house and the robber may have been shot by the store owner.

Being overly dramatic teens (barely) we locked the doors and peered out windows. That soon grew boring until we heard a huge bang against the wall separating her living room and the garage. Now comes the scary part.

Karen and I crept out the front door to see what made the noise, but we could see nothing—except a few drops of blood on the garage floor. The cleaning lady for Karen’s next door neighbor asked us what we were doing making so much noise when her parents were gone. She told us to go back in the house where we were supposed to be.

We couldn’t decide, though. We wanted to climb the ladder attached to the side of the garage and look in the attic, but neither of us wanted to be the one to do so. After dithering for five or ten minutes, we pulled down the heavy garage door and went back inside. Of course, we didn’t consider the typical door from the garage to the outside.

We cowered inside, hoping Karen’s parents would return soon. The minute her parents walked in the door, we barraged them with our story. Needless to say, her parents paid us no attention. Finally, we convinced her dad to just check out the garage so we’d hush.

When he looked, the blood was dried but added to our claim. He climbed the ladder to the attic, he found a fresh half-eaten loaf of bread and an empty bottle of Coca-Cola.

That scared us and, probably, her parents. I know her mom came to talk to my mom. I’ve often wondered what would have happened had we chosen to look in the attic. Nothing good, I’m sure.

Our life as girl detectives was over. I abandoned Nancy Drew and moved on to Louisa Mae Alcott.

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