Franny Ronan and I were best friends in third grade. At that time Palatine was still a small farming community of about 7,000 people with farms as near as Smith Road and Northwest Highway. Franny live on the Northwest Highway and I loved to go to her house to ride horses. We would watch a black-and-white Shirley Temple movie and then go outside. One day, we were not able to ride because her mother had gone to the store. Franny put on her father's good rubber boots and I put on another pair. We went out to explore in the mud. As children are wont to do, we had to see how deep the mud was. Franny dug her feet in so deep, she could not get them out. She cried, "Oh no! I'm in quicksand! Go tell my sister to call the Fire Department!" (I don't think we had 911 back then.) Although I asked her to take off the boots, she said she would get in trouble for wearing her father's good boots and losing them. I ran back to the house as fast as I could go, yelled at her sister to call, and ran back to Franny. Before long, the familiar sound of sirens pierced the air, just as my mom was arriving to pick me up.