It was the summer of 1960. it was already hot and humid that July morning.
Mother was making our breakfast when she suddenly paused and tilted her head as if she was listening to someone whispering in her right ear.
My chair was facing her Ralph's sat with his back to her so I was the only one that saw her do this.
She suddenly came out of it and said, " Butch, Ralph this will be your first time going to 55, so when you leave there I want you both to come straight home.
Don't go home with anybody, don't stop to talk to anybody, stay together and come straight home, you hear me?"
"There's a lot of sick people out there who like to grab up and hurt little boys like you, you hear me?"
"OK" we chorused.
I thought it was strange that she was repeating the "Don't go with nobody" lecture again she'd done that two years ago, we both knew these rules by now.
That afternoon Ralph and I were on our way home from day camp at Benjamin Franklin J.H.S 55.as we reached near the bottom of the steep hill that was 169th St. and Saint Pauls Place a man suddenly staggered out from between the parked cars down and to the right of us.
He was a young Latino deep brown skinned, black greasy curly hair, worn in the style of the fifties, slick on the sides curly on top coming to kind of a coma in front.
He was taller than us of course may be five three of a slender build and in his late teens early twenties but old to us.
He was limping badly and I thought he may have been hit by a car and had been lying stunned in between the parked cars.
As we were watching him stumble and hold on to the cars making his way up the hill toward us Ralph leaned over to me and whispered, "Should we help him?"
"No!" I scolded him," Remember Mother said not to go with any one cause they could take us and hurt us!"
We slowed down and moved toward the fence putting as much distance between the struggling man and us as the sidewalk would allow.
The man never looked at us once but just seemed to be concentrating on getting up to Saint Pauls Place and Washington Ave at the top of the hill.
He would walk a little and pause and hold on to the cars and gather his strength then try to walk a little more and end up stopping again to hold on to the parked cars for balance again.
I put myself between Ralph and the man so I had a clear view of him all the while we approached each other.
He never said anything but grimace ever time he took a step on his left leg.
We passed him to his right he to our left we took one step an then I said,
"Ralph he really looks hurt, we should help him."
We turned around and the man was gone.
I thought maybe he had fallen between the cars again.
We turned and started back up the hill putting a distance between the cars and us just in case he wasn't hurt but hiding.
Ralph walked in the street and I walked on the sidewalk we each looking into the parked cars to see if he was in one.
He was nowhere to be seen even an athlete could not have made it up that hill in the second it took for us to turn around.
Ralph and me just looked at each other and said, "May be he was a ghost."
Because we were thinking about helping this man and going against the warnings of our mother we could not tell any of our family about it but we told our friends that we saw a ghost but because they booed and called us crazy we stopped talking about it.
In 1982 as Ralph and I sat talking about the weird things we had seen in our lives he suddenly asked me," Do you remember that old man?"
"Old man?" I asked, thinking about Aarron he didn't know about Aarron only mother knew about him.
"Yeah " he said " The old man in the gray suit."
"Me and you were walking down from 55 and he came out of the street carrying those heavy shopping bags and I asked you if we should help him and you said no because mother said not to go with people.
Then when he passed us you said we should help him and when we turned around he was gone."
"Is that what you saw?" I asked.
"Yeah why did you think I was asking if we should help him?" he answered.
I still wonder to this day what it was we had seen and why was it trying to get us to go with it, and what would have become of us had we done so?
But mostly I wonder what it was that told Mother to warn us again, that seconds hesitation had saved us.
If any one reading this article has ever encountered or heard of these entities or phenomena please contact me by email or just post your story at this site.
Thank you for your time. I don't want to believe. ............ It's much better to know. Within The Cracks Of The Paranormal