#89 The Yo-yo Carver

by Bruce Dodson

I was twelve that summer, 1950, in the seventh grade. The man showed up lunch times, on the sidewalk, by the playground—selling Yo-yos. He could, Walk The Dog, and Drop The Bucket, Split The Atom, Ripcord, Sidewinder, or Skin The Gerbil, without pause or effort, as we watched him spellbound. More than that, he also carved the Yo-yos with a knife that had a V shaped blade. It took him three, four minutes tops. A lucky kid could get his name set off with palm trees, stars or flowers. Dad bought one for me at the dime store. “Same damn thing,” he told me.

I decided I would carve the thing myself, with an X-acto knife. I had one with a V shaped blade for gouging, but the wood was hard as stone. The knife slipped and I gouged my index finger to the bone, a V shape. It healed okay, but left a scar.

Dad got another job, and we moved out of town not too long after that. We moved back four years later. I was still in high school when construction workers found two bodies buried at a site that they were excavating. They’d been there for years, the Evening Telegraph reported. Two young boys police thought must be runaways, described as “missing persons never found.” There were unable to identify remains for certain, as the only clues were V shaped scars nicked in the bones. They never found whoever did it.


Susan Borgersen said...

Great story. Filled with foreboding and intrigue

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