I started telling the story last month about the year I ran away with my 2 year old brother. I was 12 years old going on 30. We were living in a disgusting trailer and my mother left us alone most of the time. I’d been taking care of my brother since he was born, so I was used to that part.
Well, between these 2 stories is where ‘Mary, Daryl and Daryl’ come in. You remember Larry, Daryl and Daryl from the Bob Newhart show? They were brighter than this trio! Who were they, you ask?
Mary was the babysitter my mother hired after my grandfather found us alone and the Daryl’s were her father and brother.
I had no idea she was hiring a baby sitter. I came home from school, walked into the trailer and see three strangers sitting on the couch! And they looked even funnier to me because they were quite large people all squeezed together on a rather small couch.
This could be the couch and the trailer… except for the curtains. It was really this charming! Now picture 3 obese, ugly people sitting together on that little couch.
So I asked, ‘Who are you?’ And Mary said, ‘We’re here to take care of you, hun.’ Of course I said, ‘No, you can leave now, I’ll take care of my brother.’
That didn’t work. Then they decided the trailer was too cramped… well when you put 900lbs. int a 200lb. bag… so to speak! She said they were going to take us to their house, and assured me my mother had ok’d this! Funny, now that I remember this and have made the comparison to the Daryl’s I remember that neither of them said a word during this whole conversation. Wasn’t one of the Daryl’s on the show mute?
We had no phone, so I had no way to verify any of it. I had no choice but to get into their truck and go with them. I’ll admit, I was pretty nervous. I was trying to pay attention to where we were going, but ended up in an area of town I was completely unfamiliar with. However, it was just as ugly as where we lived! The difference being it had rundown old houses instead of trailers.
I figured at some point I would be able to take my brother and leave, but wasn’t sure how. Then as the evening wore on Mary fell asleep and the Daryl’s passed out drunk. I remembered seeing a phone booth at the corner when we turned onto their street, so I decided I’d make a run for it.
I picked up my brother, who was sound asleep in one of the bedrooms, wrapped him in a blanket and took the loose change I saw on the dresser. Tip-toed out of the house and made a dash for the phone booth.
Fortunately I had a good memory for phone numbers! I called my step-father and asked him to come and get us. He immediately said, ‘Where are you?’ Well, I hadn’t thought about that part! Hey, I was only 12! So I dropped the receiver and went out to look at the street sign, then told him the intersection. He said he would send a cab to get us.
It was cold out, for sure! Coldest winter on record that year. But, the phone booth shielded us from the wind, and I had the blanket that we could both share. Fortunately we weren’t there long.
The cabby was very nice! He assured me he was sent by my step-father… told me his name, the address we would be going to, etc. So we got in the cab and went to safety.
In spite of this escapade I never had a desire to go into espionage! Funny.