I was going to a different school in a different part of Pottsville for the 6th grade. The direct route to school passed down Minersville St., the “colored” part of town. Most residents avoided walking down or even across Minersville St., particularly in the evenings.
My mother raised the question of my route to school with my father as she had misgivings about me coming home in fall and winter evenings and traversing that street.
“I’ll talk to Little Arthur,” my father said, and I remembered a little repeated story about my father and Little Arthur from many years previous.
The story was amorphous in form to my recollection but involved my father going out on a high girder (and my father was deathly afraid of heights) and somehow rescuing Little Arthur from injury or death.
Over the years he would occasionally mention he had seen Little Arthur somewhere around town and exchanged pleasantries, but that was the only mention of him that I heard.
A short time later as school was about to start my father told me and my mother, “I saw Little Arthur and he told me not to worry. Elwood would be perfectly safe if he kept his nose clean.”
I got to walk the short way to school and whatever Little Arthur’s influence may have been, I felt safe.