My cousin, Bruno and I loved to watch the TV show, “Batman” when we were kids. We would tuck a pillowcase into the back collar of our t-shirts for capes and run around the block pretending to be Batman and Robin. I usually got to play Batman because I was older (and taller). My mom knew how much I loved the show so she bought the Ideal Batman cowl for my birthday.
My mom and I lived on the top floor of a three-story apartment building at the corner of Hollywood and Garfield Place while Bruno and his family lived across the parking lot in the first house in a row of five bungalows. One day, Bruno and I were playing “Batman” all over the parking lot when we wandered inside the lobby of my apartment building. My mom, my aunts, uncles and the rest of our family were at Bruno’s place.
We ran around the lobby, up and down the stairs, slid down the banister and tumbled down the carpeted stairs. We ran all the way up the stairs to the third floor when I noticed the roof access door. I thought would be ‘fun’ idea to go on the roof so we could get a ‘bats’ eye’ view of the city. We pushed the door and set a brick in the door jam to hold it open. We walked around on the roof for a few minutes enjoying the spectacular view. We sat on the edge of the roof. I suddenly got the idea that it would be neat to swing over from the edge of the roof into the open third floor window. We’d seen Batman and Robin performing this stunt regularly on the show so I thought we could do it, too. I explained the directions very well to Bruno, handed him the Batman cowl and suggested that he be the first one to try.
Bruno was brave so he put on the helmet and he draped his little leg over the side. I started to give him a boost up the wall when we heard the familiar voice of our Uncle Calvo screaming from across the parking lot.
“Hey! Don't you two dare move! I’m coming up there right now!“ Uncle Calvo was 6 feet tall and very intimidating! He was the disciplinarian at the family functions. Bruno almost fell off the roof at this point from terror.
Our uncle ran up the stairs and found us on the roof. He grabbed us by the ears then shouting all the way, dragged us back to Bruno’s house for a spanking. I remember the thud of the plastic Batman cowl hitting the tar paper roof.
Personally, I still think the stunt would have worked. After all, we saw it on TV!