Sometimes the best hiding places are right out in the open. On the sidewalk going down Main Street, between the radio station and the monument works, there was a little passageway, which culminated in a brick wall. You had to squeeze in the iron gate, and the nimble would scramble over the air conditioners and brick wall into the back where there was a kind of courtyard, overgrown and in ruins.
It’s impossible to estimate how many kids found their way back there during their lunch hours at the middle school, after school, or when they should have been in the movie theater across the street. I’m pretty certain most of us weren’t up to any good back there. Judging from the number of cigarette butts which littered the ground, a lot of smokers got their start there. You’d find the occasional beer can or bottle as well, not to mention things unmentionable.
At some point in the past ten years or so the monument works came down and the secret spot became public. I’m assuming at the same time the taxi stand below the radio station disappeared as well. Don’t remember ever going in there, but we used to lean over the railing, despite the spikes, and watch the men in there smoking cigarettes and waiting on a call. My guess is if the room still exists, it still reeks of Winstons and Pall Mall.