Kickass and original crossing guard

Kickass, the doorstop dog, indulges the keeper as he—the keeper recalls the original school crossing guard in bachelor neighbor Herman Schranz who piggy-backed the keeper and his sister Norma across the knee-deep rushing water of  a flooded country road when a sudden spring thaw hit northern Wisconsin like a great seasonal flushing.  On another occasion when Herman was not around, the keeper and Norma walked the extra three miles around a country block to avoid risking the rushing “white” water.

It is the kind of childhood adventure that sticks in the memory bank, and the keeper makes no apology if he has taken Kickass there before: some things bear repeating, like being a guide for a younger sister along miles of muddy roads where heroics could be called for at any second, perhaps to defend Norma against an attacking muskrat.

The long walks to and from country schools have become rich fodder for geezer joshing, but in reality they were a wonderful part of elementary education and served to teach kids about fitting into their environment in many ways, not the least of which was to wait for Herman Schranz if the flooded road looked too dangerous to cross on your own.


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