ON THE CURBS: River Park resident admits long-ago theft of Fairytale Town’s Humpty Dumpty

Rick and myself at his place where we each verified the authenticity of the other.  The small picture he holds is the shot of him and Humpty shown up close in the other photo.  The large photograph we hold together between us is the one Rick presented me with to test my authenticity.  We both passed each other’s tests.

Rick and myself at his place where we each verified the authenticity of the other. The small picture he holds is the shot of him and Humpty shown up close in the other photo. The large photograph we hold together between us is the one Rick presented me with to test my authenticity. We both passed each other’s tests.

Back in November, the day after the hauntings and undead, at Clubhouse 56 over breakfast, I fall into conversation with River Park resident Rick Winn. Through small talk, we learn we are all multigenerational Sacramentans who happened to collide here and stir it up a bit like only multigenerational Sacramentans can.

Then the story unfolds. It starts because we are talking of pranks we played in Sacramento on Halloween and or other times. We agree that to a large degree it all starts with toilet paper and then moves up from there. Rick tells me he stole Humpty Dumpty off the wall at Fairytale Town one night with his friend many years ago.

He says he and a pal were 17 years old when this happened. It was the early 1950s, a special time here in Sacramento. Like always when you are young and 17 years old hanging out with your buddy, you are down for pretty much anything, which for them, included getting a homeless man to buy them a six pack. They drank it in William Land Park and there sat Humpty looking back at them just sitting there on the wall. They started silly scheming and ultimately decided to kidnap Humpty –- got him down by simply using a wrench in the trunk to undo the four bolts holding him to the wall.

They were creative and well intentioned, but they got in a bit over their heads, as we Sacramentans love to do. Rick explains that they made it look like they had actually kidnapped Humpty. They tied his hands behind his back, placed a sheet around his eyes, and then plopped him in the trunk facing backwards.

Before going home, they cruised K Street, causing more shenanigans. Then, Rick dropped his buddy off, and driving a few houses down to his house, he realizes he still had Humpty in the trunk. He backed up the car, retrieved his friend, and for some reason they placed Humpty on the diving board in Rick’s backyard.

The next morning Rick woke to his mother who was upset by what she saw in the backyard. She recognizes that it’s Humpty from Fairytale Town. Rick’s father is livid.

Rick goes to school that day and returns to begin folding his Sacramento Bee newspapers to deliver them on his paper route. He opens the first bin and sees front page headlines that Humpty has been stolen. Ricks said the exact headline was “All The King’s Horses”. Now his father is really angry. He demands that Rick and his friend submit a type-written statement detailing how they are going to fix the situation.

Rick and his buddy’s idea is that they are going to sneak Humpty behind home plate at the local school’s baseball diamond. Then they were going to call the police from the pay phone up the street at the gas station and anonymously report the location. His father oddly approves the plan with one stipulation. They have to write a formal apology, including to the children who are now missing Humpty, and tape it to the back of Humpty’s head. The deal is sealed, and the plan actually works. According to Rick they even signed the note, “The Three Little Pigs.”

To certify the experience, Rick invited me over to his River Park home. He said he has a photograph he can show me with him and Humpty. I follow him into River Park. I go inside and its a beautiful home, one of a number of properties he owns he explains. He introduces me to Marge who helps us find the picture of him and Humpty. It’s blurry, but authentic.
ON THE CURBS: FAIRYTALE TOWN’S HUMPTY DUMPTY WAS KIDNAPPED

One Response to ON THE CURBS: River Park resident admits long-ago theft of Fairytale Town’s Humpty Dumpty

  1. Daisy Ann says:

    What wacky Winnster capers will we find you in the paper for next time!
    No doubt still up to mischief and lovin’ every minute of it!
    Thank you Michael Saeltzer for a FUN story of how it used to be, in the early 60’s Winn is still a youngster at heart!

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