[Lin and a friend became spies together]
We would make our rounds usually starting from Libby’s drugstore (but not before doing some flips on the railing in the IGA parking lot). I always had mixed feelings about going into Libby’s though because I never liked Frank, the adult son of the owner/pharmacist. He used to tap kids on the top of their head with his pen. If that wasn’t demeaning enough, he would make kids empty out their pockets from time to time when he suspected them of shoplifting. He made me do it one time… While we were in Libby’s we’d often pop our heads in upstairs at the little lunch counter. What was that place called? The Sea something. Seaview was it? It was run by a German lady whose name escapes me at the moment. Was it Schultz?… There was a woman with Downs Syndrome who used to go there fairly often. I used to like to observe her, but I was a little scared of her because I didn’t understand why she looked, sounded and acted different.
Then we’d sneak downstairs where the public washroom, stockroom, and backdoor was and derive quite a bit of excitement and pleasure from being somewhere we were not supposed to be. Next we’d head to the bakery for sweet treats if we had any money, or go to Dairy Queen… Then we’d stop at the Pick A Pocket book store and visit with Mrs. Aymer … who we would often see closer to home after business hours being taken for a walk by her very energetic dalmations. Then on to the florists – “Flowers By Lily”… We’d go downstairs mostly because we liked the stairs themselves (I seem to recall it being a wrought iron spiral staircase, but I’m not entirely sure). We’d also “spy” on the floral arranging that was sometimes going on in the backroom by the stairs, then we would take the little breezeway between the buildings to the back alley to see what we could find going on behind the street.
I remember one time we were spying on some shopkeeper, or maybe we’d been hanging around the laundromat(?), and we attracted the attention of an adult who chased us down that breezeway and into the back alley. We made up some story to explain his behavior by speculating he was up to no good and didn’t want us discovering what it was. We took this as evidence he was one of Them.