Ricky and Eddie
It started out as a simple basketball game down at the yard, on the street that we all lived on during those days in the city. What followed was to become almost legend in the local lore of the street at that time and anyone who was there through any part of the incidents of that day will know.
All of us were together almost all of the time, doing this and doing that as a group and less often than not sometimes disputes big and small became a part of knowing and growing up with each other, and Ricky and Eddie were no different. I myself wasn’t at the yard when it started, and my recollection takes place in the kitchen at our house afterwards when things almost became unraveled and could have ended tragically for all of us, and it didn’t thankfully.
The kitchen at our house was one of the gathering places for the kids who lived there on Downey Street, one of several houses where we would hang out and do whatever kids do when there was nothing else to do. It could have been anyone’s house, but that day it was in our kitchen at our house, and as usual Mom and Dad were at work.
Ricky was sitting on one side of the table and Eddie was sitting on the other side facing him. There were others there, but mainly Wayne and Steven are also clear in my mind’s eye as I reminisce back to that day. As usual Ricky was cool and as always nothing ever seemed to bother him. Eddie was a different story, he always had some issues and it seemed he constantly had to prove how tough and bad he was. Wayne was always our voice of reason and he never hesitated to try to mediate when a situation became tense. Steven thrived on confrontation even though this time he was not directly involved.
There was some kind of altercation at the yard between Ricky and Eddie while playing basketball and it got physical with Eddie coming up on the short end of it. Imagine our reaction when we all saw the gun in Eddie’s waistband! Nothing like that had never, ever happened before and it was unbelievable. Ricky remained cool and calm while Eddie was getting a wild look in his eyes and talking crazy.
I can still hear Wayne’s voice urging them to stop this madness right now, and then Steven ran across the street to his house to get the shotgun. I was thinking to myself, oh no please, not in our house!
As Eddie sat there with the gun sticking out of his waistband, Ricky was talking to him slowly and quietly and after awhile things began to turn. They had been friends since they’d known each other through childhood, through all the good and bad. And that is why the situation was able to diffuse itself.
Ricky was always able to calm Eddie down and I don’t think any of us who were there will ever forget it that day in our kitchen, when calmness prevailed and as usual Wayne was right again. Steven took the shotgun back home across the street, and thankfully Ricky and Eddie were OK.
What a Day!