One of the worst things I ever did …

Recently my blog has focused on personal memories and family stories. Most likely I'll soon return to real estate tidbits or arguing politics, but I wanted to tell a quick Royal Village story. Royal Village is a subdivision of Front Royal Virginia that was built in the shadow of the sulfur-spewing smokestack that supported the lives of families who lived in Royal Village. I don't know what Royal Village is like now, so this is not a real estate opinion I do know what Royal Village was like then, and it wasn't what you might call prime real estate. Some of my adult friends from "the Village" say that our neighborhood was pretty rough. In retrospect, it wasn't that tough ... compared to say Haiti or District 9 it was actually pretty nice.  I can't really remember any suicide bombers, so it was pretty safe compared to Baghdad. Most of the kids who lived there had parents who worked in the factory. Rotating shifts meant that sometimes our parents were asleep or at work when we kids were in the streets. We had some good kids in that neighborhood that grew up and made something of themselves.  We also had some nasty kids that would just as soon fight you as look at you. We played tin-can soccer in the street. We played tackle football in the street.  We built ramps and jumped bikes like Evil Knievel.  We played in the mud and we played in the Field until they built townhouses there.  When they were building those townhouses, we used to sneak into the construction site after dark to make trouble where we could. For the most part my brother and sisters and my friends were good kids. For the most part we stayed out of trouble. We lived on 14th Street, but the kids over on 13th Street were hellions. They lived in townhouses---the kinds where the screendoor dangle by one hinge and a shutter lay in the yard. The yards themselves were packed clay with tall weeds in the corner of the lots. To get to the store or to make it to town, we had to cross the domain of the 13th Street gangsters . If we ventured in their direction, those kids would try to steal our candy ... or our bikes. They also like to hold us down and take our pop bottles and cans which we had collected buy candy from the little store. Every kid on 14th Street knew that you didn't want to go to 13th Street without back-up. If you rode your bike down 13th Street, you'd better do it at full tilt because someone just might pitch a piece of gravel at you. Up on the hill behind us was 15th Street and 16th Street, where those who thought they were better than us looked down upon our wretchedness. Some might say that the kids up lived up on 15th Street were a kinder gentler sort. We thought of them as chumps. They thought they were so cool with their bigger houses and their banana-seats bikes. We rode hand-me-down 1950-styled Western Flyers. As bad as our bikes were, they were still better than what they had on 13th Street, where kids usually had to walk. One day a couple of 15th Street kids made the mistake of wandering down to 14th Street.  We were scared of 13th St. kids, but they had trained us to be evil. Our parents weren't home at the time so we started bullying the well-groomed kids.  Talk about dumb. They didn't even have enough common sense to run or to pedal away when we threatened them. So we took them hostage.  I really laugh when I think of this now, but it was by far the worst thing I've ever done in my life.  My brother, my friend Chuck and I stuck those kids in my dad's basement.  Then we locked them in a downstairs bedroom and we took off riding on their bikes. Banana seats are cool, aren't they? We rode their bikes downtown. We loved riding those banana seat bikes so much that we rode them all the way to the video arcade. We parked them at the arcade where we ran into some friends and goofed off for a while.  We completely forgot about the kids we had jumped. A good while later we went to get on our bikes and realized they weren't our bikes at all. We pedaled as fast as we could to get home and release our captives.  We got home just as my parents got there.  My dad was yelling at some poor kid for "breaking into his house".  We sheepishly rolled up on their bikes.  As soon as we dismounted those kids jumped on their bikes and pedaled off---never to be seen on 14th Street again. My dad was incredibly angry but at the same time, he couldn't help but laugh at the stupidity of it all. It was one of the few times that I got in so much trouble, I wasn't in trouble at all.  I can't remember terrorizing the 15th Street kids again after that, but maybe it was because they were afraid to venture down to the Village. BTW, if you've never read a blog post of mine or if  you don't know anything about me. The man I am couldn't be further from the kid in this story.
For more information or to set up an appointment call Nesbitt Realty at (703)765-0300.
Family and Personal, Off Topic

Will Nesbitt

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Will is the principal broker of Nesbitt Realty and Condo Alexandria. He is licensed in anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but focuses on those communities found in and around Alexandria, Arlington, Mount Vernon and Springfield/Franconia. Will has been involved in real estate management, sales and investment for more than twenty years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. While in the army, he studied Russian at Monterey's Defense Language Institute. He is also a "veteran of the dotcom wars" and built most of the sites associated with Will currently resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Old Town, overlooking New Alexandria. He is a former president of the Mount Vernon Youth Athletic Association and founded the Alexandria Fun with Friends Group. Will is the author of BattlestorM, a tabletop fantasy game, which was published by Ral Partha Publishing in the late '90's, and Arthur's Realm, a boardgame available at the Gamecrafter.