When I was a kid in the 60s, we lived in the town of Coshocton, Ohio for a couple of years. Coshocton is in the southeastern part of Ohio near the Pennsylvania border–“Amish Country” as it were.
As you’d expect, there was a group of boys that my brother and I ran with. The Gergley brothers next door. Pete and Gordy across the street. And then there was Hudson. Pretty sure that was his last name, but to our little gang, he only had one name. Hudson.
Hudson seemed, in retrospect, to be the most well off kid on our street. He had a much older brother in college, so he was like an only-child. The rest of us had bigger families. Hudson had all the toys. While each of us had a few Matchbox cars, one GI Joe (with none of the cool accessories like the 50-cal machine gun), and maybe a plastic squirt gun that we could use to play “army”; Hudson on the other hand, had tons of Lego, what seemed like a hundred Matchbox cars, every GI Joe accessory made, and enough really cool toy guns to outfit Seal Team 6. We liked Hudson. We needed Hudson.
Here’s the problem… Hudson was lazy. The 6 of us would stand at his screen door and beg him to come out and play. He’d rather watch TV (and who knows what was on during the daytime in the 60s) or listen to his brother’s Bill Cosby comedy album. Some days he’d come out and play. But eventually something would go wrong and he’d take all his toys and go home (I’m convinced that’s where that saying originated. Right there in Coshocton in 1965). That would end whatever we’d been doing and we’re back to building a fort or a boat (yes we tried that, I’ll share that story sometime) or riding bikes six miles to see the “waterfall” (a 6-inch drop in the creek off of the concrete running under a bridge–woo hoo!).
Lazy and selfish. And really, isn’t being lazy just a form a selfishness. That’s what we didn’t like about Hudson. Now to be fair, we were probably as interested in Hudson’s “stuff” as we were in Hudson, maybe more. But the 6 of us did everything together. From sledding on the hills at the golf course when it snowed to picking up pop bottles on the state highway so we could cash them in and go downtown to catch a Saturday morning movie. But it was almost always without Hudson who sat home alone with his stuff. I believe we would have all been happy if Hudson had joined us more often.
I hope things changed for Hudson. I hope he found better friends than us. I hope he learned that having stuff wasn’t more important the having friends (or a way to get friends).
Anyway… don’t be like Hudson.