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Oct 31, 2020

American Friendship Holiday

                                   GRAVEYARD DARE

   My name is Billy,  I raised the window in my hedroom window as quietly as possible. I lowered myself onto and down the trellis of wild, rambling red roses to the ground. Scout his reddish brown in color German shepherd waited for me on the screened in porch. My devoted friend followed me everywhere I went I was given as a birthday present when I turned seven. My parents were the only people at this birthday celebration with a gift and card from my Grandpa Wilcox. No one came that was invited from my class at school. Although my mother tried to minimize the rejection she tried to soften the blow by suggesting summer vacations as a reason for the July 3rd birthday ignored. Tonight Johnny and Bobby dared me to meet them at Netherland Inn and Boatyard at midnight until dawn.  

   I jumped out my bedroom window onto the trellis of wild rambling red roses then slid down from the upstairs window. Moments earlier, Mom opened the bedroom door ever so slightly to view the lifelike form on the bed. The radio played hits from the seventies, and on my desk lay a large bag of candy collected this Halloween. Beside the bag in rows of five were: Hersey bars, Mr. Goodbar, Reece cups, Tootsie rolls and lots of small bags of candy. My mother had made my Halloween outfit to resemble a sea captain with a scruffy gray beard and a sword complimenting the gold chain about the middle of my waist. Treasures accounted for were candies and homemade Carmel apples and cookies decorated as orange pumpkins or white ghosts.


   It all started with those guys tripping me in the hallway at school. They beat me up if I didn’t hand over my lunch money. At this present time, Johnny and Bobby were following me home daily. They cursed me and my Dad. Cursing me because I had always wanted to fit in, and be a part of their group. They cursed Dad, for coming back from the war a broken man.

   Entering the graveyard with Scout my German shepherd at my heels, I paused to look at the watch on my wrist. The reading was 11:55 p.m. , as I sat under the majestic maple tree still full of leaves of red, yellow, and orange. Momentarily, I felt a slimy object slid across my shoulder and land on the ground beside me. I screamed at precisely the same time as Johnny and Bobby stepped away from the maple tree holding their stomachs, they were laughing so hard. My flashlight beam lighted on a large rubber black snake. 

   Johnny and Bobby shared how they were down to only the two of them. Two years ago, a new kid in school vowed to come here and follow through with the initiation. The hoot owls and a drunken man staggering across the graveyard, managed to frighten him away before any initiation practices were performed. Last year, a brother and sister wanted to join in this small clique and braved three hours in the haunted graveyard. The ongoing howling of coyotes and the screams coming from Bobby's surround system in his stepfather’s Mustang convertible he borrowed for the night. 

  After a time as the storytelling subsided; all of us heard loud clanging and two figures approached arguing among themselves. Drawing nearer to the mausoleum, I watched as these two men unloaded cases of liquor bottles then covering them before going back to the boatyard for more stolen goods. I looked on either side of me, no Johnny, no Bobby anywhere in sight. Scout growled as one of the men said he was going to take a break, so the fellow he called Jim could bring up the rest of the cases. The dominant one said, “ You will do this and be quick about it, unless you want to go right back in jail.” The one called Jim complied and a while later all was quiet in the cemetery. Out of the darkness, came red flashing lights and a voice calling; “ Police, put your hands above your head, you are order arrest The familiar voice cried out, “Is that you Billy ?”  “Yes, sir,” I replied. Officer Kepler apprehended the two moonshining thieves. My Uncle, officer Will Potter placed me, Johnny, and Bobby into the back of his police cruiser ushering us to the police station. I found myself with those boys, I so much wanted to be with and be like. It didn’t seem to be as pleasurable as I thought it would be.

   In the early morning hours, we all waited at the station for Johnny and Bobby’s parents to arrive. My fate awaited me with a disappointed father and a grieving mother. It only took a look to know a lecture was even more excruciatingly painful than a paddling or switching from my Dad. It only took tears in my mother's eyes falling on my fathers dress shirt sleeve to make be bitterly sorry and remorseful for my wayward actions. I went home with my mother and father, my Dad driving us their in reflective silence. In the midst of the punishment to come, I think it was an unexpected relief for the police officers to arrest the thieves guilty of robbing the moonshiners. 

   Looking back over the years, I have found true friends aren’t easy to come by. My faithful German shepherd protected me from danger. Scout was my faithful friend until his death, when I turned nineteen years of age. Although I have had other dogs over the years, all others paled in comparison to Scout. My father and mother are up in years and I try to teach my kids to be respectful of their grandparents. It does take learning by example. If losing yourself in order to find a place to belong causes you to compromise everything you believe in let it go. Be yourself, a natural, an original, a one of a kind.


                                   GRAVEYARD DARE

   My name is Billy,  I raised the window in my bedroom window as quietly as possible. I lowered myself onto and down the trellis of wild, rambling red roses to the ground. Scout his reddish brown in color German shepherd waited for me on the screened in porch. My devoted friend followed me everywhere I went I was given as a birthday present when I turned seven. My parents were the only people at this birthday celebration with a gift and card from my Grandpa Wilcox. No one came that was invited from my class at school. Although my mother tried to minimize the rejection she tried to soften the blow by suggesting summer vacations as a reason for the July 3rd birthday ignored. Tonight Johnny and Bobby dared me to meet them at Netherland Inn and Boatyard at midnight until dawn.  

   I jumped out my bedroom window onto the trellis of wild rambling red roses then slid down from the upstairs window. Moments earlier, Mom opened the bedroom door ever so slightly to view the lifelike form on the bed. The radio played hits from the seventies, and on my desk lay a large bag of candy collected this Halloween. Beside the bag in rows of five were: Hersey bars, Mr. Goodbar, Reece cups, Tootsie rolls and lots of small bags of candy. My mother had made my Halloween outfit to resemble a sea captain with a scruffy gray beard and a sword complimenting the gold chain about the middle of my waist. Treasures accounted for were candies and homemade Carmel apples and cookies decorated as orange pumpkins or white ghosts.


   It all started with those guys tripping me in the hallway at school. They beat me up if I didn’t hand over my lunch money. At this present time, Johnny and Bobby were following me home daily. They cursed me and my Dad. Cursing me because I had always wanted to fit in, and be a part of their group. They cursed Dad, for coming back from the war a broken man.

   Entering the graveyard with Scout my German shepherd at my heels, I paused to look at the watch on my wrist. The reading was 11:55 p.m. , as I sat under the majestic maple tree still full of leaves of red, yellow, and orange. Momentarily, I felt a slimy object slid across my shoulder and land on the ground beside me. I screamed at precisely the same time as Johnny and Bobby stepped away from the maple tree holding their stomachs, they were laughing so hard. My flashlight beam lighted on a large rubber black snake. 

   Johnny and Bobby shared how they were down to only the two of them. Two years ago, a new kid in school vowed to come here and follow through with the initiation. The hoot owls and a drunken man staggering across the graveyard, managed to frighten him away before any initiation practices were performed. Last year, a brother and sister wanted to join in this small clique and braved three hours in the haunted graveyard. The ongoing howling of coyotes and the screams coming from Bobby's surround system in his stepfather’s Mustang convertible he borrowed for the night. 

  After a time as the storytelling subsided; all of us heard loud clanging and two figures approached arguing among themselves. Drawing nearer to the mausoleum, I watched as these two men unloaded cases of liquor bottles then covering them before going back to the boatyard for more stolen goods. I looked on either side of me, no Johnny, no Bobby anywhere in sight. Scout growled as one of the men said he was going to take a break, so the fellow he called Jim could bring up the rest of the cases. The dominant one said, “ You will do this and be quick about it, unless you want to go right back in jail.” The one called Jim complied and a while later all was quiet in the cemetery. Out of the darkness, came red flashing lights and a voice calling; “ Police, put your hands above your head, you are order arrest The familiar voice cried out, “Is that you Billy ?”  “Yes, sir,” I replied. Officer Kepler apprehended the two moonshining thieves. My Uncle, officer Will Potter placed me, Johnny, and Bobby into the back of his police cruiser ushering us to the police station. I found myself with those boys, I so much wanted to be with and be like. It didn’t seem to be as pleasurable as I thought it would be.

   In the early morning hours, we all waited at the station for Johnny and Bobby’s parents to arrive. My fate awaited me with a disappointed father and a grieving mother. It only took a look to know a lecture was even more excruciatingly painful than a paddling or switching from my Dad. It only took tears in my mother's eyes falling on my fathers dress shirt sleeve to make be bitterly sorry and remorseful for my wayward actions. I went home with my mother and father, my Dad driving us there in reflective silence. In the midst of the punishment to come, I think it was an unexpected relief for the police officers to arrest the thieves guilty of robbing the moonshiners. 

   Looking back over the years, I have found true friends aren’t easy to come by. My faithful German shepherd protected me from danger. Scout was my faithful friend until his death, when I turned nineteen years of age. Although I have had other dogs over the years, all others paled in comparison to Scout. My father and mother are up in years and I try to teach my kids to be respectful of their grandparents. It does take learning by example. If losing yourself in order to find a place to belong causes you to compromise everything you believe in let it go. Be yourself, a natural, an original, a one of a kind. Be kind, everyone is in a battle for self-control and self-sufficiency. 










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