(The pool at McKinley Park, with my childhood
home as a backdrop)
I learned a good many things in that park. It was there in the 3 foot depths of the pool I learned to swim, and to play (most of the time, well) with others. I built many a mountain & moat in the sandbox. I grew agile & fearless at the heights of the Monkey Bars. I learned to steer clear of clover with bare feet lest risking a bee sting. It is where I encountered, and dispatched my first bullies.
Bobby & Tommy Yerbery were neighbors. Their father was a policeman; and their house boasted a collection of scrapping boys. My father was an industrious house-painter; and my house boasted a collection of frilly girls. They delighted in tormenting me ... though now, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, their torments were largely of the pigtail-pulling type.
But one day all that changed.
Having had enough of their intimidation, I removed my thong (hopefully you remember when THAT meant a rubber sandal, or a flip/flop?), and took out after the bigger of the two, Tommy. I figured if I bested him, the other would think twice. Once my lanky legs caught up with him, I beat him within an inch of his scrappy life with that thong advising him that he'd best cease & desist or risk another such lashing.
They became two of my best friends, not to mention allies.
It's good to know how to wield a Thong, though I've found better means of resolving conflict now (I think).