Over the Fence Buys a New Ball
Every single time
Very few tears were shed when Thom Davano passed away at the ripe old age of 32. Rumor had it the accident was alcohol-related and it involved another car and several passengers.
Perhaps ol’ Mrs. Davano wept, but then again, maybe she didn’t.
Thom had an odd reputation of confiscating balls that landed over the fence and into his tiny yard.
For the gang on Mason Street, hitting the wiffle ball far enough to land in Davano’s yard would have been considered a home run in most back yard ball parks, but not theirs.
Within a minute of hitting the ball into the forbidden yard, Thom Davano, hook nose, thin and tall, came out and said for all to hear, “It’s mine. It goes into my collection. Thanks, boys. The collection is continuing to grow.”
Nobody argued with Davano.
Steven, the oldest of the Mason Street Gang, tried to argue and plead with him once, but Davano ignored him and walked inside, tossing the ball up and down.
In this backyard, hitting the ball over the fence was an automatic out and the batter had to pony up a couple bucks to buy a new ball. Nobody tried to hit the balls into his yard; it just happened.
The Mason Street Gang learned early that life wasn’t fair. What Davano did with the balls, nobody quite knew, but none of the gang had extra money to buy a new ball every few days. Despite them being careful about their batting strength, the boys couldn’t help themselves.
When the rumor about Davano’s death reached the Mason Street Gang, there was relief. They had no idea if he had passed his legacy on to his aging mother.
The first time the ball was hit over the fence after that, the gang froze.
Steven, never known to be shy, approached the fence to climb it, but instead went to Mrs. Davano’s front door on the opposite side of the house.
“Hi, Mrs. Davano, my name is Steven, and our, um, ball, um, landed in your yard and I’d like to get it if I could.”
“Let me do it. Go on down to the edge of the fence and I’ll toss it over,” Mrs. Davano said.
Steven did as he was told and met Mrs. Davano near the fence.
“I wanted to say I’m sorry about your so……”
“Oh, save it, son. Pfft. He was a mean and nasty man. I loved him as only a mother could but he was hard to love. Don’t know why he kept all your balls. Sorry he did. In fact…wait right here,” she said with a bony finger raised.
Mrs. Davano came out with a full box of balls, lifted the box high, and dumped them back over the fence.
“Now, don’t hit them over into my yard more than once a day. I’m an old woman, ya know?”
“No, Mrs. Davano. You’re not an old woman.”
For the first time ever, Steven saw Mrs. Davano smile.
“Say, Steven,” Mrs. Davano said. “Would you and your friends mind if I occasionally brought out my lawn chair and watched you play? Ya know, it would kinda make me feel, well, young again.”
“We’d be honored to have an audience, Mrs. D. May I call you that?”
“Yes, Steven, you may. You may indeed.”