It was postitively prehistoric by today's standards. Although I am sure at the time it was top of the line. To me, it looked like a lawnchair with wheels. But it was tiny and so was the kid that used it. His name was Randy. He had muscular distrophy. Whenever he didn't come to school (which was a lot) it would sit empty in the corner of the classroom.
He wasn't full of sunshine and light, like they tell you on the telethon. He was actually kind of grouchy and mean. They told us to ignore that because he was going through things we could never understand - so we did. When he came to school we played with him. If he felt like playing kickball we would all scoot in from the field while the pitcher rolled the ball straight at his foot. When he could manage a kick, the ball would bobble a couple of feet to the side. Then one of the big boys would push his chair around the field. Sometimes he would make it to first base, sometimes he would get thrown out - just like the rest of us. Every now and then, through a comedy of errors, he would get that homerun! I remember once he was in right field and the ball went straight to him. He caught it. The celebration was truely monumental (even the kid that kicked the ball celebrated that one).
Mostly he just sat on the sidelines and cheered and did plenty of trash talkin'.
In the fifth grade they moved the class upstairs. The big boys (6 th. graders) would come and get him 10 minutes before and after recess and lunch. They would carry him, wheelchair and all, either up or down 2 flights of stairs. Just think of the hell that would be raised if that happened today! I think it made us all closer.
In the 7th. grade we moved to junior high school. Randy did not come with us.
He died when I was in the 9th. grade.
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