We used to see her when riding our bikes or running around the neighborhood. She was small, and looked even smaller walking over with a stoop but no limp. She wore eccentric clothes of many colors that sometimes coordinated by accident but often clashed. The lasting image I have in my mind is one of her wearing a long dark overcoat with a bright purple pointed stocking cap, red socks and pointy shoes. Maybe it was the shoes.
My grade school friends and I, roaming the neighborhood on our bikes or by foot, were afraid of her and called her the witch.
She lived all alone in a large English Tudor home on Broadview Boulevard and no one seemed to know her. We only saw her when she was out walking, where ever it was she went. Someone said her entire house was filled with wall-to-wall toys on every surface area. Maybe it was someone who had braved her doorbell selling Girl Scout cookies or perhaps a curious neighbor.
I wonder who she was.
One time I had no choice but to pass her on the sidewalk and I remember she smiled.
She might have been eccentric. Maybe she even had a screw or two loose. But she wasn’t a witch.
It was cruel of us to think that she was.
She might have been lonely rattling around in a much-too-large house all alone, remembering times when childrens’ voices echoed off the walls.
She might have been content, happy to live life alone on her own terms.
Maybe she had a fascinating and interesting life. Perhaps it was rather dull and noneventful.
I’ll never know.