Pat Shingleton: "A Spin and a Thump..."
This close to December, typically we could identify the regions of the country that would be preparing for a white Christmas. Ski slopes in many sections of the country will be idle this Christmas and unable to make artificial snow. An episode of winter weather prompted disciplinary actions by my father years ago. After Mass at St. Agatha’s Church in Ellwood City, PA, Dad would routinely purchase the Youngstown Vindicator or the Pittsburgh Press from a street vendor . On this particular Sunday a blanket of snow covered the lawns, roads and parking lots along with sheets of ice coating the sidewalks and church steps. Outside the church, it was customary for parishioners to visit with friends. We were doing the same when a robust lady proceeded down the steps, lost her balance, slipped on the ice and went airborne. Spinning and swirling across the icy sidewalk in the midst of ohhhhs and ahhhs she landed next to my brother Mike and me. Newton's Law took on a different meaning on this day when... for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Our Dad was a butcher and had huge hands. Whenever a disciplinary action was initiated, a curled middle finger protruding from the fist created the “thump” which was often launched to the back of the head. So.... as the lady slid to our feet, I imitated an umpire and yelled, “Safe!” As Dad, spun from the headlines of the Sunday paper to our location there was a lot of confusion. He thought my brother Mike was doing the umpire imitation that included poking fun at the sliding lady. Dad gave him the “thump” while I got the laughs! Mike gave me a "Charlie Horse" later that day.