Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy

Lee St. John, a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, is a #1 Amazon ranked humorous author. Look for her on Facebook, Twitter (@LeeStJohnauthor), and on her blog at www.leestjohnauthor.com. Her new release is coming August 7, 2018 entitled, “SHE’S A KEEPER! Cockamamie Memoirs from a Hot Southern Mess” from Bienvenue Press. It can be found on Amazon.com.

What is it they say about only children? I’ve heard it all about the characteristics of only children, of which I am one, but I never heard this. According to the Independent, “different family environments – growing up with or without siblings – does affect children’s structural brain development, researchers claim.” And this study further claims that “only children who performed higher on creativity actually showed a higher volume of gray matter in the parietal lobe – a part of the brain associated with mental flexibility and imagination.” So that’s where it’s coming from.
Learning to keep myself entertained as an only child, I once pretended I was a piano teacher. I started playing the piano when I was in the third grade. I took lessons for nine years so I had stacks of old practice music lying around or in my piano bench. Around fifth grade, I pulled out my own previous beginner lesson practice books and used them to teach my student, who even had a name: Becky Rogers. Like my piano teacher, I wrote her name at the top of my old piano books. If you took piano, you probably remember the red-covered John Thompson music books. I still have several.
Becky Rogers was a poor student. To help her develop better as a pupil, I wrote in the most unrefined handwriting to “pianissimo” on a certain part of a piano piece that she was playing for me, or I wrote other such music verbiage on the music in the book. Becky must not have practiced very much, because there sure was a lot of my third-grade scrawled instructions as her teacher on the sheet music about how to play her piece better. I even had a spiral notebook just like my music teacher’s where she took notes for me on the pieces I played for her during my instruction and what I should practice for the next lesson. Honestly, I didn’t like practicing either. I get it, Becky Rogers. I guess it was more like, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
In my younger years, I pretended I was Dale Evans. I had the entire cowgirl outfit. My down-the-street neighbor was Roy Rogers. He was just a year older than me when we played Dale and Roy around the age of four and five. I ran down to his house and rang the front doorbell, his mother would answer and I asked, “Can Roy come out to play?”
I was dressed in Dale’s solid red shirt with a plaid kerchief and a faux suede jacket with fringe. There was a round skirt and I kept a holster around my waist for my toy gun. I wore white majorette boots. My cowgirl hat was tan and I wore tan gloves so I wouldn’t chap my hands while riding my horse, Buttermilk. My childhood friend dressed similar to Roy, well, as best he could. I am sure he didn’t put as much effort into it as I.
When The Heir dressed up around the age of four, his imagination consisted of Popeye, Robin Hood, Superman, or Dick Tracy. I even let him wear his costumes to the grocery store or other public places. People greeted him and said something like, “Hi there, Superman!” or whoever he was that day.
One time while dressed as Dick Tracy, I tried to figure out what to do with him that day, so I took him to the city’s police station. When we walked inside, I looked directly into the eyes of the lady at the front desk, all the while shaking my head in the negative, and asked her, “Is Dick Tracy here today?” I had to ask twice because, at first, she didn’t understand my questioning and where I was going with it, but seeing mini-Dick Tracy, she put two and two together while I shook my head for her realize I wanted her to say no. She did.
“Why, uh, no, he isn’t,” she said.
“But he does have a desk here, right? I mean, his desk is in his office here even though he is not available?”
This time she got my drift as I nodded in the affirmative behind my son’s back.
“Why, yes, he has an office here. I can show you where he works,” she commented as she pointed to a closed door.
And when she opened the door, there sat an empty desk with papers scattered all over it as though someone was busy at work and had been called away in a rush. I turned to our oldest and said, “See, honey? Dick Tracy is out catching criminals and isn’t at his desk. He’s very busy. We tried.”
If you are looking for something to do, maybe on a rainy day to make it fun but doesn’t cost money, just entertain your child or grandchild by taking them someplace that doesn’t really exist, make up a story that one day you can retell or write about to embarrass your children…or yourself.