Jerry's View: The Bestest Kid On Russet Street
Editor's Note: Jerry Robinson, (1920- 2014) our late publisher wrote his autobiography, Listen to Your Father a few years back and this is an excerpt from that book
By Jerry Robinson
I couldn't fight and I couldn't run very fast. But I did have big brown eyes. If I rolled them around in their sockets, wonderful things happened. When big guys threatened me I could sometimes dazzle them by rolling my eyes. But it didn't work with Johnny Celoria. One day on the way home from school he stopped me: "You wanna fight?" I was so scared I just rolled my eyes. He was with a buddy. While I stupidly rolled my eyes trying to dazzle them, his pal grabbed me from behind and Johnny socked me in the eye. Luckily for them Russell wasn't with me, or he would have shown those guys. Instead, I just howled so loudly they thought I was dying. I ran home without them inflicting any more damage. I had a beautiful shiner for a few days and elicited lots of sympathy from the family.
The best thing happened when my big sisters brought their boyfriends to the house. "Roll your eyes, Gerald," they would plead. "Show Bob how you can roll your eyes." I'd just stare blankly till Bob gave me a dime. Then he got the performance. Beat piling wood.
I had a lot of earaches till I was ten but I never got the childhood diseases. Nomumps, chicken pox, or even tonsillitis. But I do remember one night feeling sick.
Mom gave me some senna tea and it still didn't help. I hated the thought of even missing one day of not being able to play outside, so I made a pact with God. "God," I said, "if you'll not let me be sick, I'll be the bestest boy on Russet Street the rest of my life." A pretty rash bargain but I was desperate. The next morning I awoke feeling great. No chicken pox, no nothing. God's pretty good at what He does.