I have been waiting patiently to post this. I wanted to wait until near Easter as it is an Easter memory....
When I was in the fifth grade our teacher Mrs. Shirar, being a dutiful teacher warned us of a danger in our town. We were being dismissed for the Easter weekend from school and she reminded us to stay away from the gypsy camp north of our small town. She went on to say that gypsies are known to steal children and we should tell our parents of the nearby danger. Now it is hard for me to relate to that story but there really was a group of gypsies parked in at a campground near our quiet little town.
I went home and told my father what the teacher had warned us about. Well, he laughed and told me he was going to do one better than that. He was going to take me there!!! And he did. I came home from the Easter church service and he told me that we were going to the gypsy camp. I wasn't too sure about this but he was a policeman and he had already been to the camp and told me that we were invited.
We were welcomed guests of the gypsy camp. I will always remember the pigs on huge spits roasting over the fires, the music playing, the young girls dancing, and how nice everyone was to us. They were travelling in small trailers and were all parked in a big circle. The women were wearing fur coats and had long gold necklaces made of coins. They were dancing so hard inside one of the trailers it fell off one of the supports and the trailer floor was sloping so much it was hard to stand up.
My father was offered a glass of beer which he accepted to be polite but whenever he put it down they filled it back up. So he quit putting it down and just sipped it once in a while. The alcohol was flowing quite freely as I remember.
I remember that they gave us colored Easter eggs as presents. We didn't stay for dinner but I'm sure that was offered too. My father instructed me to tell the teacher when we went back to school and she actually had me stand up in front of the class and tell everyone about my visit to the camp. I wonder now what Mrs. Shirar thought of my dad for taking me there.
The gypsy leader, Big Green ended up being taken to the hospital that night by a group of his friends. He had a bit too much alcohol and they caused quite a ruckus in the emergency room. I guess Big Green put his glass down too many times.....