I wanted to win the trip so my parents could get away from it all for a while; I believe my mother was carrying her seventh child at the time, and my father was teaching and working on his doctoral dissertation. They both really needed the break a vacation would provide. I wanted to win the car because my parents were driving two Volkswagens at the time (a bug and a bus), and they had to repair or replace something on one of them routinely. [I remember "assisting" my mother as she single-handedly dropped the engine from the bus, replaced some part or other, and put it back in place. She always downplayed what I thought was an extremely impressive feat as being not much more than pulling four bolts.] I truly believed that my parents deserved to have both prizes.
The Easter-egg hunt was scheduled for 8am on Holy Saturday, so Good Friday evening found me hatching my scheme in my bedroom. My plan was to get up really early, walk the mile or so to the school, locate the golden and silver eggs, then participate in the hunt with everyone else. I planned to act surprised when I found the second one; I imagined that I would get one, put it in my pocket, then find the other and go claim the prizes. It seemed like a fool-proof plan to me.
Holy Saturday morning I woke up, got dressed and sneaked out the back door unnoticed. I was almost at the school when it occurred to me that I should approach it stealthily. I went along the northern edge of the B-CC High School campus, around to the east end, found an opening in the fence and made my way across the field. I entered the tennis court through the gate on the east side and was halfway across when I spotted a German shepherd standing guard at the gate on the west. I froze in my tracks.
[Several months earlier, I had had an encounter with another dog that went horribly wrong. I had been eyeballing for hours a kite that someone had left in the vacant lot across the street from my house. I reckoned that nobody who wanted it would have left it there that long. I crossed the street and the field and picked up the kite. As soon as I had the kite in hand, the German shepherd who lived at the house next to the field came running towards me. I tried to outrun it after ditching the kite, but it easily caught up with me and bit my rear end. I immediately developed a healthy fear of dogs, particularly German shepherds.]
So I was in a stand-off with this fierce dog in the middle of a fenced-in tennis court. Every time I'd try to take a step in any direction, the dog would growl at me. I spotted a tennis ball lying against the north side fence. I very slowly inched my way over to it, picked it up and threw it toward the southwest corner of the court. The dog fell for my ploy, and I escaped through the west gate, slamming it fast behind me. I was fully intent on finishing my mission.
When the area where the hunt was being held came into view, it was clear that my mission was a failure. Dozens of people had already arrived; there was no way I could do my reconnaissance. I hurried home and acted as if I'd been playing right up the street.