Springtime again. The squirrels are out and the jonquils are poking up their heads; perhaps of more immediate interest, the Peppermint Squad has reassembled to full strength. Though maintaining a skeleton crew to man HQ and the dojo during winter months, the call went out the other night for the full ranks to convene today, March 28. Text messages clotted the airwaves and Bellringer Smith rode around Boston on his Honda Ruckus, parking at predetermined locations to play the tom tom loudly enough for all squad members to get the message.
At 8:00 AM, after coffee and eggs at Saints Diner, the Peppermint Squad assembled at their headquarters off Codman Square. Children were out and about on the sidewalks marvelling at all the motor scooters on Talbot Ave and Norfolk Ave. Their parents rolled their eyes at the buzzing cavalcade splitting lanes and zipping through traffic according to rules only a vesparado knows.
The usual suspects were in attendance: Tiny Phillips, Peanut Jones, Oyster Stew, Cherrypicker, Widowmaker, Flora, Bella Donna...etc. There were some newcomers as well. All the scooters were freshly washed and polished, chrome sparkling in the sun.
Tiny Phillips called the meeting to order and administered the Peppermint Oath for another year. He stepped down as squad leader and a secret ballot was conducted. A new leader was selected: For FY2009, Flora will be the Peppermint Squad's Commandant and Grand Biclops. With a current slate of officers elected and no old business to conclude, the squad rallied in formation and travelled down Melville Street to Dot Ave, down to Lower Mills, along River Road to Mattapan Square and then up to Simco where they dined on celebratory hot dogs, sharing the bridge over the commuter rail tracks with a group of Baptists who had just gotten out of church.