Mr. Smith and his family shared a property line with the Whites; though “share” with its hippy-dippy overtones is probably not the right word. The two families warred constantly.
I don’t know if it had anything to do with the war or not, but I have to mention that Mr. Smith’s house was oddly situated on his lot. His putative front door pointed directly out onto the White’s property; mere feet separated his front door from their property. To get to the front door, you had to walk along the side of the front to get to the front door. I never saw anybody use that front door. People came in from the street; that’s where the driveway was. It terminated in the back of the house. So you’d park the car in the drive way and enter through the back door which was the de facto, if not de jure, front door of the house.
But as I said the families warred. The Whites did not like the animals that Mr. Smith kept out back, and they didn’t like it either that his backward was a mess, with pieces of cars and old tires sticking out of the weeds. They especially did not like the geese. Mr. Smith’s old dog died and instead of replacing it with another dog, he bought three geese that he had heard made good watch animals. These suckers were big and if you came onto the driveway they would come at you making violent geese noises and snaking their ugly pea brained heads at you. One guy drove his car onto the drive way, Mr. Smith said, and before he could do anything the geese had pecked paint right off the car.
Mr. Smith claimed the Whites threw their garbage onto his property and that their son Richie that everybody beat up except me was using his telescope to look through the windows of his house. And what do you know but somebody started leaving obscene letters addressed to his daughter under their putative front door. These pretty graphically described what the author of the letters wanted to do with Mr. Smith’s daughter sexually.
So Mr. Smith stood watch one night and caught Richie sticking a letter under the door. He had been apparently using his telescope in inappropriate ways and had over stimulated himself or something. Richie was under 18 so he didn’t go to jail or anything; instead he had to go to counseling so that he could learn the error of his ways.
Mr. Peace—whose son Richie had stuck in his one testicle with a pencil–worked as a volunteer policeman on the weekend, doing crowd control and stuff like that. He caught wind of the Richie affair and through police contacts got hold of the actual file on Richie. He had heard that Richie was applying to a military academy; so he wrote a letter to all of the military academies and attached portions of Richie’s file. Mr. Peace said he considered it his patriotic duty to make sure perverts like Richie did not serve in our military.
Richie did not attend any of the military academes; whether Mr. Peace’s letters had anything to do with that nobody will ever know.