They were (and are today) best of friends. This entry takes us back to them at, ages 12 and 15. We’ll call them then, 12 and 15. They grew up on the same dead end street., three houses apart. At the dead end, acres of woods. A creek ran through the long back yards. Behind the creek at the end of the yards, woods and a hill that was perfect for sledding and tubing in the winter.
They occasionally smoked. 12 kept the stash in his second floor bedroom, in the heating duct work which had a removable vent in the floor. There was a small ledge available in the duct work, just under the vent, to keep the stash.
They head to 12’s house to do a little. 12 removes the floor heating vent to access the stash on the ledge, and to his dismay, the stash falls down into the duct system, straight to the basement. This is an emergency calling for drastic actions.
12 and 15 head to the basement. They find it has a suspended ceiling. Kids don’t notice ceilings much but this is a special situation. The remove the ceiling tiles, one by one, searching for where the duct work from 12’s room meets the basement duct. It was trial and error. But, not to be discouraged, they find the union. Taking advantage of 12’s dad’s handy work shop, with both parents at work, they start cutting sample holes in he duct work hoping to locate the fallen stash. It required a few sample cuts but not to be denied, they located the bag. It took several cuts, opening up a significant enough hole (think of star shape cuts that form a number of flaps) to recover the bag. They made the duct repair with what else but duct tape. It required feet of duct tape. The repair was ugly. They reinstalled the ceiling tiles. Who would ever know !
Months later: It is heating season. Cold! Furnaces are running. 12’s parents were sitting in the living room. 12’s mom, and not the first time, complains to 12’s dad that there is a draft in the room. He says something about sweaters. After sufficient prodding, on the weekend, he goes to the basement. Of course, nothing is easy. This won’t be either as the duct work, which 12’s dad suspects is at the cause, is covered with the suspended ceiling tile. Hours later he finds the patch work quilt of tape on the duct work. The patch has now collapsed, hanging freely, as the adhesive on the tape has dried out from the heat, the adhesive now a white power, a gaping hole the result, The hot air that is escaping is significant.
How could this happen? The parents suspect 12. He is confronted. And as all kids learn early on, denial is the key to making great escapes. This time being no different. The “rents” stopped short of fingerprints and prosecution, knowing it was hopeless.
***** S&E *****