Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Edgar, Deadman's Box, and the Ghostly Dirigible

Mhy encounter with the Hindenberg. It was 1936. Kida had to amuse themselves with whatever was on hand. No X-Box or Tech Games.

I was playing in the street on 68th Avenue in Oak Lane in Philadelphia. The game, as I recall, involved shooting bottle caps at a circle marked in chalk. I used caps from Canada Dry Ginger Ale, my parents' favorite soda. The game was called Deadman's Box.

It was a bright sunny fall day and I was on my knees, in my corduroy knickers when suddenly, a large shadow put me in darkness. I looked up and saw the silent dirigible. As I watched, awestruck, it glided by. On the tail was a swastika. Although I was only 8 years old, I knew what that hateful symbol meant. I had heard a radio broadcast from Germany with a screaming Hitler threatening the world and especially Jews like me.

The massive Hindenberg, ghost-like, disappeared and I resumed mhy bottle tops game.

Incidentally, that was not its last flight but, shortly after, it burned and crashed in New Jersey. These many years later, I still have a vivid recollection of that experience.

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