As we engaged in our usual lunchtime banter(mini skirts and the girls wearing them, 2-3 zones, how many patties could Hao fit in his mouth, you know, the usual), Lizzy had been brought to the front of our conversations.
So once again, we found ourselves planning another weekend of debauchery over State canned peaches and reheated Salisbury Steaks(We had no study halls. The 42 minutes between standing in line for Chicken Patty on Bun and 6th period History were all we had). The objective was fairly simple(elementary one might say). Find out if Lizzy was still in the haunting business.
(If the best laid plans are the simplest, ours could have been written on green construction paper with the 64 box of Crayola’s.)
There were some hurdles to be considered before just kicking the door in and presenting ourselves to our local spirit. First, we had heard new residences had moved in. Well, not moved in as much as moved next to the house. They lived in a trailer that would have been considered old in the 1970’s. We had also heard(from a friend of a friend) the new owners did not take kindly to curious kids snooping around Lizzy’s. Actually, our friend’s story involved a car chase and blazing guns(but everyone knows you can’t take those stories seriously). There was also the issue of where the house was. Sitting on a frequently used road. Coupled with the time we had decided to start our little mission(10am).
Never to be swayed by law enforcement, parents, bad judgment, or potential gun wielding psychopaths, we soldiered on with our plan. Before we went headfirst into the unknown, our first part of the plan involved some serious reconnaissance. We would form a small team whose specific purpose was to gather the proper Intel for our job. In other words, we needed some cameras, a car, and 4 of us dumb enough to do it.
Ben’s mom provided us the cameras(unbeknownst to her) and Brian’s parents’ Ford Tempo was our ride(they didn’t know either). A five seater, the Tempo was a perfect car to carry Brian(his parents’ car), Ben(mom’s cameras), Matt, and myself(each with nothing better to do with our weekend) Saturday morning, to Lizzy’s for a little espionage work.
We made a quick stop at Thrift Drug(pre-Walmart days) for 35mm film for our Kodaks. In order to get to Lincoln Road we took 422E and hung our right at the Dairy Queen. We hung the hard left curve at Palmer Chocolate’s and in another mile or so we were upon Lizzy’s house.
Before the urban sprawl attacked Exeter, Lincoln Road, besides an industrial park and Palmer’s was only mildly sprinkled with homes. Lizzy’s sat on 1211 Lincoln Road like an island unto herself. While cars passed, they used Lincoln as a bypass into Birdsboro only, which was good since it was Saturday morning(I’m sure none are shocked that not one of my friends or myself ever made a career in military strategy).
We made a quick pass by the house. The trees hid most of it but what we did see was a house in desperate need of Ty Pennington(or some early 90’s version of him). Brian, on the second pass and on his way back out to 422E and DQ dropped us off. Matt made a quick beeline to the other side of the street and into the brush. Ben and I dove into the thick right in front of the house at the end of the gravel driveway. Brian’s job was to keep circling from time to time and pick us up at a time when we forgot to decide upon(our Swatch Watches didn’t have coordinating times).
Everything was going according to the loosely knitted plan we devised. Ben and I were snapping pictures one by one. Each time we crept a little further up the gravel driveway to get a good shot. As I was crouched down in the bushes(and in a festering patch of poison ivy) waiting for my turn again, I couldn’t help but think just how well of this was going.
- Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country (and bald...and cranky...and out of shape...in the service of being a parent) - George Washington
Seek and Ye Might Just Find