The Old Historical Society [Mike and Lee MaGee – 1958/59]


Lee MaGee, started shoe-shinning at the age of 12-years old, actually a little before that, but the year was 1958-1959. He received .25-cents from his mother for the movies on Saturday's for doing the dishes, his brother Mike got the same for emptying the garbage, eventually down the road of life they'd switch back and forth, until it was every other month , every other month one would get the dishes the other the garbage, then it would reverse itself; and then it would be raised to $ 1 (one dollar). He was learning things change, as time moves on.

It was the middle of 1958, when he and Mike Russet, his sidekick of sorts from St. Petersburg. Louis School, in St. Louis Paul, Minnesota, on Cedar and 10th-Streets, would alter their play habits also, by running through the stores of downtown St. Petersburg. Paul, buying cigarettes, puffing on them, not really smoking, just putting on them like adults, coughing a bit, throwing them away, prancing about, and the .25-cents that they coast in the machines, was well worth the running out the doors of Woolworth's and Grants to avoid getting cooked for buying as a minor; it was the thrill not the smoke that inspired the boys. As in the elevators at the Golden Rule and the Emporium, they'd go up and down just to do it, punch the buttons for every floor and run, run, and where, who knows, they seldom did them know know where they'd end up. It was when they would both go to the Historical Society, across the street from the Capitol, and look at the Historical Newspapers, Mike would get board, ask Lee

"Whats so darn interesting in them old papers, aint nothen I see?" looking at the date, 1880, some even older. And Lee would never answer just rip a page or half a page out and somewhere through the day find time to examine it, as if it was a treasure map. An unknown impression would go over him, one he could not account for, but he did not throw it away either, it was something, he just could not 'name it. And in his future, way off, he'd travel around the world over twenty-five times, looking at archaeological sites, and exploring museums. How things stick with us. He enjoyed looking at how each one lived back in those far off days – he was enthralled by it all. But this got to be, got to be a bit risky for Mike and he usually did not mind risk, but found it to be more time consuming, annoying if you will, and of very little relevance in his evaluation to short term play in his life, and so Lee stopped his new craft and art and they looked elsewhere for mischief (but it would not go away for long, he'd go back there when Mike was not available).

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Dennis Siluk Dr.hc


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