It’s the week before Christmas and all the kids in our neighborhood are so excited about the holiday. We’re sitting in our classroom doing our best to keep up with our lessons but everyone is day dreaming about the greatest holiday of the year. We can’t wait to see all the colorful lights, decorations, Christmas trees and most of all the gifts. When we got back from to our classroom from our lunch break I noticed that something strange was going on. Miss Kent and the other teachers were in the hallway for a long time talking. I don’t know what’s going on but it can’t be good. Miss Kent came back into the classroom with a weird look on her face. She sat down at her desk and didn’t say anything. She just looked at the class and waited. All the students started mumbling to each other tiring to figure out what the hell is going on. All of a sudden Mr. Houzer, the assistant principle stuck his head in our door and said to Miss Kent, “Okay, It’s a go.”
That’s when she got up from her desk and said, “Attention please, we are going to have an early dismissal today. We didn’t plan for it but we just got word that that there is a monster snow Blizzard heading our way. Please put on your coats, gather all your belongings and line up.”Now there’s a loud commotion in the classroom. Everyone is talking at the same time. A lot of the kids are scared. Some kids can’t believe that we getting out early. The rest of the class is just screaming and yelling because they’re so happy that we are going to have a snow Blizzard. At this point Miss Kent is doing her best to control the class so that we will have an orderly dismissal. As we’re lining up I take a look out of our classroom window and I see snowflakes falling and say to myself. “Wow, this thing started already.” I get my stuff together and line up with the rest of the class. As I exit the main school door I feel the cold wind on my face and the snow blowing around like crazy. I put my head down and I plow threw the snow on my way home. The cold wind is pushing me back and it’s making it very hard to walk home. It took fifteen minutes for me to get to my apartment building when it normally takes me only five minutes.
The wind is so strong I barely can open my front door to our building. I finally get in and I stomp my feet and take off my coat to get all the snow off. I walk into our apartment and find my sister and my Mom having coffee at the kitchen table. My sister says, “Wow, good thing they let you out early from school. It looks like this snow storm is going to break records. But just in case go out for a while, here’s two dollars, go down to Nicks and buy two quarts of milk and some American bread so we have something in our to hold us over.” I took the money, put on my coat, and I went down to DeFontes to buy the milk and bread. I go out our buildings front door and the wind and snow hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s like somebody is throwing sand in my face. Nicks door is only ten feet away and it took me forever to get to it. When I walk into the store I see that almost all the milk and bread are gone. I manage to get one quart of milk and two loafs of Italian bread. I dropped off the milk and bread in our apartment and went upstairs to find Roger the Professor. I found Roger in his bedroom, laboratory, workshop, looking out his window. When I walked in Roger says, “Do you believe this shit.
I’m waiting for a delivery of eighty Christmas trees from a farm in upstate New York and this snow storm will screw up my timing. It’s only two weeks till Christmas. I have to get the tree delivery, make a stand to hold them up for display and sell all of them by Christmas Eve. Who the hell ordered this Blizzard to come now?” I say, “You’re selling Christmas Trees? You never told me. Can I help you sell them? How much money can I make?” Roger started laughing and said, “Okay, I can use the help. I’ll give you a dollar for every tree you sell. Do you agree?” “Hell yeah, if I sell twenty trees that’s twenty bucks in my pocket, right?” “You’re pretty good at math, yes that will come out to twenty dollars. But don’t spend the money so fast, because you haven’t sold a tree yet. You haven’t spent six to eight hours at night in the freezing cold trying to sell these trees and when you do, you may just give up and quit.” I wrinkle my nose and look at him and say “I’m strong, I can do it, I can do it. Please give me a shot. Twenty buck is a lot of money to me.” “Okay big head you’re in, but you better not screw me and quit, when it gets tuff out there.” We shook hands and Roger told me that he will call me when the Christmas trees are delivered.
Now I’m thinking of all the money I’m going to make sell trees with Roger when it gets dark plus the money I’ll make shoveling snow for my neighbors in the daylight before I report to Roger’s tree stand. I left Roger and went home to watch the falling snow and listen to the wind howling from my apartment window. It snowed all night and the next day too. Wow, I’ve never seen so much snow on the ground it has to be at least two feet or more by now. There’s no school today because of all the snow so I go down to our cellar and find an old shovel I can use to clean off the sidewalks on my block for the neighbors who are willing to pay me a little cash. Two of our neighbor said that they will give me two dollars each to move the snow from their sidewalk into the street. I said okay and got to work. It took me an hour to do a little square, I’m not moving the snow fast enough. It will take me all day to do these sidewalks for two bucks each. I think that my neighbors put one over on me. So I rang they’re door bell and told them there’s no way I will shovel two and a half feet of snow off their sidewalks for two bucks. They looked out at the snow and agreed to double the money and I said okay. It’s still hard work but that’s eight bucks for a half days work, not bad.
As I was cleaning the snow off the sidewalks the sun came out and I stopped shoveling, to rest. I look up the block and I see a bunch of my friends shoveling like crazy too. Even though all these kids are out here looking to make extra money I think we will be shoveling snow for two or three days. No one I talked to has ever seen so much snow on the streets at one time. The adults tell me that this storm is one for the ages. I hope I can keep it up and make money from shoveling this shit and be strong enough to sell trees with Roger. The snow storm was so bad that our school had to close for three days and they didn’t plan to reopen until after the weekend. This is great because I’m thinking that now I have five days to make a ton of money just before Christmas. I shoveled snow for two days and I gave up. My little body could not keep up and I ran out of steam. I started walking home. I turn the corner on to Columbia Street and see my sister cleaning off a parked car. I work up to her and say. ” Hey Sis why are you cleaning the snow off this car?” She turns and says, “This is my boyfriend’s car.” I say, “You have a boyfriend? When did that happen?” “It’s a long story. Frances introduced me to this cute guy named Johnny and we became friends. Please don’t tell Mom. Okay?” I walk away shaking my head thinking, Holy Shit, I can’t believe it, my sister has a boyfriend. Thats when I see Roger and he tells me to meet him on Saturday in front of the food market on Union Street to sell Christmas trees. This will give me a day to rest up before I meet him. I counted my money; I got a total of eighteen dollars for shoveling this crap for two days. That’s a lot of money for a nine year old kid to make but I hope that it doesn’t snow like this for another hundred years.
I met Roger on Saturday and we sold ten trees that day. Roger sold seven trees and I sold three. Roger is a better salesman than I am. He can throw the bullshit better than anyone I know. The problem for me is that when an adult picks out a tree and I give him a price, they say no, no, much too high and that’s when I freeze. When Roger sees that and comes over to me to close the deal. So he made the sale and this way he doesn’t pay me a buck. I think I’m going to be working for him for next to nothing. Crap, I never learn, he always does that to me. I’m locked in now and I will see it through. I don’t think I’ll see the twenty bucks I thought I could make when I made the deal with Roger. Monday came and the schools reopened. After school it was time to play in the snow with my friends before I report to Roger to sell trees. We had some great snowball fights; the sleigh rides are great too. My favorite snow ride is the car tire tube ride down the steps. We tied two ropes on either end of the tire so that we could hold on to it. If you’re not careful you can fall off and break your neck. Once you start flying down the steps there’s no stopping. You sit on the blown up tire tube and bounce and fly down the steps without knowing where you are going to land. Wow, what a ride.
It may take weeks for this snow to melt away. The adults and teenagers got into the fun too. They built snow igloos that look like castles that the little kids could play in. Some women like to build snow men and dress them up in old clothes. It’s a winter wonderland and everyone is out enjoying the fun. Except for the teenagers who build a fort, load it with snowballs.When a trolly, truck or car comes by their fort they all bombard it with snowballs. They’re always looking for trouble and you know what, sometimes they find it. When they piss off a truck driver he gets out of the truck to chase after the teenagers who hit him. If he catches one of them he kicks and smacks the hell out of him. But They never learn because they just keep doing the same stupid thing over and over again.