This is a story from my most recent publication "Just Hangin' out, Ma." If this book interests you, click on the cover of this book at the right of this page for additional information and directions for purchasing a copy. Thanks!
My wife constantly accuses me of having a moral conscience. She has learned over the years about all my friends, my family, relatives and whatever. She has come to the conclusion that none of the above contributed much to the development of my “moral conscience.” She suggests that the only influence in my life that could be responsible for this moral conscience that she thinks I have, must be the Roman Catholic Church. For the longest time me and my street corner buddies went to Confession every Friday night. If St. Mary’s Church had two hundred people inside on a Friday night waiting to tell their confessions to a priest, 90% of them would be lined up at Father Kelly’s confessional. Father Kelly was a very kind and forgiving man and in his role as a priest he was equally generous with God’s graces. No matter how grievous a transgression you may have confessed, Father Kelly would say: “Are you truly sorry that you have committed such a deed?” “Yes Father, I am.” “As your penance say three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys. Go in peace, my son.” This, of course, was the reason for the long line at Father Kelly’s confessional every week. On this one particular Friday night a priest who was waiting alone and lonely inside his little cubicle on the empty side of the church, stepped out of his anonymity and gave a speech to all us reluctant confessors. He accused us of cowardice. Certainly we all couldn’t have committed such outrageous sins that we were afraid of an objective consequence or penance. He advised us to remember that all our penance and suffering here on earth would be to our credit once we arrived in heaven. He also insinuated that all priests were forgiving and compassionate by nature. No one should be fearful of having his confession heard by any priest. Several older people rose from their pews but instead of walking over to our admonisher’s side of the church, they walked out the side door. They could come back later after things cooled down a little and reposition themselves at Father Kelly’s station. The chastising priest shook his head in disgust and returned to his stall. I sat there thinking about what the priest had said and I concluded that certainly with my little, dinky sins I should not be afraid to kneel before any Roman Catholic priest. After about fifteen or twenty minutes of analysis and soul searching, I left the safety and security of my pew at Father Kelly’s station and meandered over to the other side of the church. Naturally there was still no one there, so I stepped right up to the plate. As a part of my confession, I admitted to this priest that I had been stealing penny candy from Dube’s Variety store which was on the corner of Chelmsford and Center Streets. He was shocked. He wanted to know why I did that. I stuttered and stammered. This had never happened at father Kelly’s station. He never said boo. He never asked “why” I did anything. He would say, “Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys” and that was the end of it. Now this new guy was asking “why?” What was this? Is that a fair question for a priest to ask in a confessional? Was this a pop quiz or what? “I don’t know why I took the penny candy Father. I guess I just wanted it.” “Well son, as your penance I want you to go back to Dube’s Variety store. I want you to apologies to Mrs. Dube and I want you to pay her back for all the candy that you stole.” OH MY GOD! What had I done? I was certainly heartily sorry for leaving father Kelly’s station. And certainly, I will never do that again! But now what do I do? Would it count if I went back over to Father Kelly and told him the same sins over and got three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys - like I knew he would give me? Would I have to tell Father Kelly that I had been across the way to this other priest? I went back to Father Kelly and he did just as I suspected he would, but yet the whole situation plagued me. Finally one day I gathered up all my pennies and went up to Dube’s Variety. I was trembling as I entered through her screen door. As usual it took her five minutes to get to the counter. I could have stolen a pocket full of candy by then – but I didn’t. When she got to the counter, I laid down all my pennies and confessed. Mrs. Dube stared at me like I was a kid who had just landed on the planet earth from outer space. She scooped up the pennies and eventually sputtered, “You are an admirable young man.” All the way back to my house I questioned if it was better to be a known thief and an “admirable young man” or to have remained anonymous and said three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys. From that day forward I took my errands to Walter’s Variety on the corner down the hill on Center St. How could I ever face Mrs. Dube again, the little thief from down the block on Chelmsford St? I never stole anything at Walter’s. I wasn’t about to go through that again.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.