As a child, I preferred not to include naps in my daily schedule. Conversely, my mother’s schedule did include them which established a recurring clash of wills. Yes, I was little, but I was persistent but my mother had infinite patience so she usually won.
This particular day took place in a small, two-storey house in Worcester, Massachusetts. I was about 3 ½ years old and had been put to bed for a nap two or three times within a short period of time. My mother was entertaining her mother and Ellen Arnberg, one of her sisters-in-law. They were chatting away in the kitchen, drinking coffee, eating cookies and having great fun. This was something I didn’t want to miss. I slowly and ever so quietly crept down the stairs just far enough so I could peep into the kitchen. My mother saw me and simply chose to ignore me. Aunt Ellen, however, spotted me and told me very loudly and very sternly that if I didn’t go back to bed the Boogieman would come to get me and take me away.
Just at that moment, the doorbell rang. My mother opened the door and there stood an elderly man with profuse, unruly gray hair carrying two large satchels. I screamed, and screamed, and screamed. I knew in my heart that I had met the Boogieman.
Needless to say, the poor gentleman did not linger. He was going door to door selling all kinds of linens (kitchen towels, tablecloths, napkins, etc.) just trying to make a living.
It took my mother and grandmother quite a while to calm me down and try to convince me that the gentleman was not the Boogieman and no one was taking me away.
My mother never really forgave Ellen. To be honest, she wasn’t very likeable and yet was married to Louie, the jolliest of all my mother’s brothers.
I always felt so sorry for the poor man!