Relieveo

relieveo

Back in the 40’s, on the west side of Chicago, us teenagers played “Relieveo,” a team version of hide-and-seek, and this usually included my friend, Jerry. It all went down across the street from an empty weed and wild thistle-infested lot next door to Jerry’s house, and the game was guaranteed to leave us bloody and battered.

After choosing up sides, we’d split into two groups, hiders and seekers. When a ”seeker” came upon a ”hider,” he had to tag him and shout ”Relieveo.” The fugitive was then considered captured and taken to the corner—a special square of sidewalk designated ”the prison,” which a guard patrolled. To free the prisoners, one of my fellow fugitives had to sneak over, place one foot in the box, and shout ”Relieveo.” This allowed all the prisoners to escape and return to hiding.

Freeing prisoners was my specialty, complete with climbing a roof and walking from rooftop to rooftop in the densely populated neighborhood. Nary a soul on the opposition thought to look up, looking instead under cars and other obvious hideouts. At this vantage point I could check on how many prisoners had been corralled and get a sun tan at the same time without being seen.

When the prison became sufficiently populated to warrant the risk, I’d back down the trap door that led to the roof, circle the block, and crawl through the high weeds in that empty lot. Using passing cars as a screen, I’d make it to the prison when boredom had rendered the guard sufficiently groggy, leap in, and scream “Relieveo!,” thus freeing my teammates.

My friend Jerry never seemed to get captured when on the “hiders’” side. Try as the seekers might, they never could find him. It was rumored he temporarily moved to Mexico during the game, but this had to be false because I knew he had no visa and didn’t speak Spanish.

It frustrated me I couldn’t find his hidden lair; after all, I knew every hiding place. When I gained Jerry’s confidence, I asked him to divulge his hiding place.  Eventually, after swearing me to secrecy, he revealed the truth.

He would sneak around back, enter his house, and take a nap. While everyone was scouring our boundaries, Jerry was sleeping. I was in awe… How ingenious! I had always wondered why he always looked so well rested. My mother always told me you don’t get too far in life if you sleep your life away. Then again she didn’t know my friend Jerry. After that, I made sure he was always on my team when we chose up sides.

(photo courtesy of Stockimages/Freedigitalphotos.net)

About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!

About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!

Smiles For All