Gamboa News

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Figure 8's

chronicled by
Lyla "Lou" Womack, Dick Shobe,

Large printed story is for children.
I was a former school teacher in the elementary grades and have written many of my childhood stories for them. I used to stand in front of the class with an overhead projector and show them how a person writes by thinking it out first and then demonstrating my thinking in my writing. They had to learn to be quiet while I was thinking but then my students could read each word as I wrote it. That way they learned the process plus learned how to read many new words.

Lyla "Lou" Womack
(story written for second graders)

When I was in the first grade I had just gotten a brand new bike. It was beautiful and I loved riding it all the time. I used to ride underneath the houses.

In the Panama, the place where I was born and raised, the houses had to be built upon concrete pillars. Pillars are like posts. There were lots of insects in Panama and to keep so many insects from coming into the house, the houses were not on the ground level like yours are in the United States but instead to enter a house a person would have to climb stairs up to the first floor. I donıt know if it really helped that much or not because we had to use a bug bomb every night to kill the cockroaches that crawled around on the upstairs floor.

I would love to ride my bicycle underneath the houses and would sometimes challenge myself by doing figure 8ıs around the posts. Occasionally even more challenging, I would race against the other kids on their bikes.

One time I was really ahead of them all. I knew I was winning because I looked back and saw the others far behind me....but, I wasnıt looking ahead. CRASH! BANG! SMASH! KABOOM! I ran smack-dab into a concrete pillar and there I was lying on the concrete. Boy was my body aching.....that wasnıt all that was bike was aching too. The front tire looked as though a steam roller had gone over it. When I tried to steer my bike one way, it went the other way. So consequently I was without a bike for several months.

No more figure 8ıs for me!

Dick Shobe
The Story of Figure 8's Revisited

Andy's mother and my Mom were sisters. They both delivered boys about the same time: Andy and me. First cousins, but more like brothers.

Aunt Mamie visited my Mom one day. Andy and I were three years old. Mom and Mamie were upstairs visiting; Andy and I under-the-house cycling figure eights on our tricycles.

It was not our fault! The maintenance division painters should have done a better job of putting the lid on their paint can.

We discovered the paint and decided to record our figure eights.

We moved the paint can from garage to under-the-house and with little skill but with the determination of three year olds got the paint can lid off. It was easy to tip the can over and very easy to record our figure eights. Mary Dillon Connard

As for "under the house".... people up here in the States would never understand the expression "roller skating under the house".

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