Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Mahru Jinx

From September 1953 to June 1959 I went to Ravinia School (grades K-5) in Highland Park, Illinois on Chicago's North Shore .6 mile from my family's home. Most of us walked or biked to school most of the time (including a round trip to home for lunch!) However, in 1959 I started at Edgewood Junior High (grades 6-8). Edgewood was 1.5 miles away and therefore the kids in my neighborhood rode a bus. The bus picked us up at the corner of Cedar, Dean, and Sheridan, a .3 mile walk from the house. Sheridan is a major road, winding its way through Highland Park from one end to the other, making a turn at the bus stop.

With that setup I take you to a winter day sometime during the time I attended Edgewood. In the winters of that era 12-13" snows, while not frequent, were also not uncommon in Highland Park. On one such morning a bunch of us trudged to the stop and waited (and waited) for the bus to come. While we waited we amused ourselves by piling up additional snow in the intersection, watching the occasional automobile get temporarily stuck. (Essentially all cars in those days had rear-wheel drive.) I do not recall pushing them out for money, but it would have been a great idea if we had. (Aside: Highland Park is the suburb where Tom Cruise executed his money-making idea in the movie "Risky Business".)

At some point it became clear that the bus wasn't coming and we started thinking that we'd get a snow day, something as rare as unicorns in those days. Alas, it was not to be. One of my good friends, Bill Mahru, lived on Wildwood Lane just down the street from the corner. As he and the rest of us were preparing to head home his mother drove up in a station wagon and told us that she had heard on the radio that the busses weren't running but that, if we could get to school, it was open. So she piled us all into her car and drove us to school...ruining our dreams.

Somehow I lost track of Bill by the time we got to Highland Park High School in 1962, but a friend just told me that his family had moved to Glencoe, an adjoining suburb, about that time. Before he moved, though, Bill had to endure (good natured) ribbing about the Mahru Jinx. 

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