Papa lives on a steep hill in Pinole.We kids used to roller skate down the hill at breakneck speed, skinning knees aplenty during the long summer days.
At the bottom of the hill was a yard with a high fence all around it. There were tall bushy eucalyptus trees planted thickly along the fence, creating a secret corridor that we would hide in after we tired of skating. It was our secret fort. One hot day, we were sitting in our fort telling stories, when we spied a brown paper bag, a bit crumpled, full of something. We picked it up, expecting to find an old bottle or someone's leftover sandwich.
Instead, we found a gazillion lollipops! Suckers in a rainbow of colors! More than we could eat in a week of trying! Well, we lit out of that fort like kids afire, and carried our booty home. We divided the spoils, and decided that we could never tell our parents because they would, for sure, confiscate the goods. I hid my candy in my drawer, and meted it out over the Summer, always taking care never to let any adult see my full cheeks.
There was a sad aftermath to this story, though. We didn't know who had left the suckers in our secret fort, but we assumed it could very well be some big mean kids from another block. And we had stolen their candy. So we were afraid to use our secret fort again! It was a sad loss, since a child has so few private places.
Years later, I was telling my father this story, and he told me, "Whippertoo, I shouldn't tell you this, but it was me who hid that candy there for you kids."