A little something for a rainy day. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Jack23
02-20-2008, 15:52
I have always wanted to write. I retired in 2000 and began writing a few childhood memories and some adventures from my early life as an adult. I received much encouragement from friends and family so I undertook to write my first novel. I immediately began the second and worked on it for the YEAR I went through the agony of trying to get published. It was the absolutely worst year of my life. I finally realized that I don't want to write for money and never did. I write for myself and my friends and family. Everyone is always on my case to write more but I do what I FEEL LIKE doing. So I have one 350 page novel and 162 pages into the second one that will never see print. The heck with it.

It is very boring and rainy today so I thought I'd share with you one of my many childhood adventures. This is the kind of stuff I'm most comfortable writing. It seems to sharpen my memory and the thereaputic value is just undescribable. I hope you like it...
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Boys Will Be Boys

During the winter of 1950 my parents bought a house in
Pasadena, Texas. It was a new house in a brand new
sub-division. The edition was Called Southmore Plaza.
It lies in the Southwest corner of the intersection of
Richey and Southmore. The neighborhood was still under
construction and when we moved into our house there
were a lot of houses that were still unfinished. I
guess most of you know well the feeling of being the
new kid on the block but this was a little worse for
me because I was the only kid on the block.

I had gotten a lot of really great cowboy stuff for
Christmas and I was raring to go. I can remember that
first day...I was in my new outfit, boots, spurs,
chaps, vest, hat, and 2-gun holster set. There was a
power line easement at the end of the block and I was
just wandering around out there all by my lonesome. I
was so desperate for some one to play with that I
would gladly have volunteered to be the bad guy.
(nobody EVER wanted to be the bad guy) You know how it
is when you're only 6, things can look so hopeless,
especially to a 6 year old boy standing all alone out
in an open field, completely surrounded by
unfamiliarity, and freezing. It was a grim time for
me. Little did I know how things would change over the
course of the next 5 years.

By the time I was 11 years old the neighborhood had
grown and there were 8 other boys my age that lived
within walking distance of my house. We all got along
well and we became inseperable. Where ever you saw one
of us you were apt to see all of us. It's hard to
describe the magic of that period in my life. No
cares, no worries, I just spent all my time in persuit
of the adventures that an 11 year old boy finds
irrisistable. We rode our bikes together. We went to
the movies together on Saturday morning. We rode the
same school bus to the same school and, for the most
part, had the same teachers and classes. We had our
own private world and we conspired constantly to
thwart the adult world in an infinite number of ways.

Our parents were mostly tolerent of our boistrous ways
but we would occasionally fall out of favor and be
chastised as a group. What ever came along, good or
bad, we stood together and endured it as a group. It
was the key to our magic as well as to our survival.

On weekends during the school year and any time during
the summer, it was our custom to gang up and spend the
night at one of our homes. And when ever the
opportunity would present itself we would slip out of
the house and roam the neighborhood in search of
mystery and adventure.

On one particular night in
October,about 2 weeks before Haloween, we wound up at
Carl's house. Carl's house was one of our favorite
places to stay because of his parents. When we stayed
there the chances were excellent that we would have
one of those opportunities I mentioned. His dad was a
salesman in the shoe department of Sears and a
beer-alcoholic. Every day that the old man worked and
sun rose he would come home from work, eat supper, and
curl up in his easy chair, in front of the TV, with a
12-pack of Shlitz. By 9:00 PM he would be snoring loud
enought to rattle the windows in their frames. Carl's
Mom was the quiet type. She was polite to us but I
think we intimidated her a little bit. She would give
us a smile and hello as she passed through the room
but she'd never sit and talk with us. She would tuck
the old man in when he was good and zonked and about
an hour or so later she herself would turn in .

By 11:00 PM on the evening in question, the old folks
were long since zonked out and we were in the den
arguing about what we were gonna do. It was a cool,
damp, and foggy night but we were all in agreement
that we wanted to go out, we just couldn't agree on
where to go or what to do. We decided to go to the
bowling alley on Richey. The Meadowcreek Lanes...open
24/7. Carl jumped up and said that he had an idea and
ran out of the room. When he returned he had 9 raw
eggs cradled in the tail of his t-shirt and an
ear-to-ear grin on his face. "Ammo", he said.

Things were looking up and high adventure was at hand.
We discusse possible targets for the eggs and agreed
unanimously on the Rexall drug store at the end of the
strip-shopping center on the other side of Richey. The
old man that ran the store hated kids. He would never
let but 2 of us in the store at one time and then he'd
follow us around glaring at us the entire time we were
in the store. He was a scrawny, stoop-shouldered,
beady-eyed, hawk-nosed old grouch and we took extreme
pleasure in agravating him when ever possible. His
store had a beautiful plate glass window which was
nicely lettered with the store name and hours of
business. I had long dreamed of watching something
gooey and sticky running down that window from a big
splat at the top.

Plans set, ammo stored (we each carried our own egg)
we quietly slipped out through the side garage door
and out into the cold clammy night air. Visibility was
low because of the fog and we felt bullet proof. I was
wearing a pair of cut-off pajama bottoms and a t-shirt
and no shoes. Most of the rest were similiarly dressed
expept for Cleve, who was wearing a pair of house
shoes. Man, did we hassle him about that! House
shoes?? Awww, is ooo widdow feetsie-weetsies cold?!?.
He said he had a cut on his foot and didn't want it to
get infected. After we could compose ourselves again
after rolling around on the ground in hysterical
laughter, we proceeded on toward our first objective,
Meadowcreek Lanes. When we got to Richey St., at the
edge of the sub division we stashed our ammo in some
weeds. By that time Cleve's house shoes had had it.
They were soaked and muddy. He silently took them off
and chunked them out in the weeds. We laughed a little
bit but no body said a word, it wasn't necessary. The
look on his face was just perfect.

As we walked along Richey we were passing by a vacant
lot. In this vacant lot sat bulldozer. We all saw it
at the same time and with only a brief moment of
hesitation Cleve, house shoes forgotten, went charging
off towards it. We were all whisper/hollering for him
to come back but he climbed up on the seat and began
fiddling around with the controls. Next thing we knew
the big deisel engine roared to life and Cleve jumped
straight up in the air. We didn't know whether to run
or try to duck and hide. Poor Cleve was in a panic as
he tried desperately to find a way to shut it off but
he was so flustered that he couldn't think straight
and he finally panicked and jumped down and ran back
to us. With out comment we all ran the rest of the way
to the bowling alley.

Unbelieveably, 9 boys in pajamas just pulled the door
open and walked right in like we owned the joint. We
started getting some hard looks right away. I think we
were about to get tossed out anyway but Harvey sealed
our fate by going up to the snack bar and ordering a
beer. The manager came out of his office at the end of
the snack bar and invited us to leave and not return.
Back out in the parking lot we decided that it was
time to go collect our ammo and proceed to the target.
We walked in silence back the way we had come, past
the bulldozer, which, to our delight, was still
running, and on to the spot where we had stashed our
eggs.

By the time we got our eggs and made it to a place of
concealment in the weeds across the street from the
drug store it was nearly 1:00 AM. The fog was getting
thicker and the streets were quiet, not a car in
sight. Perfect cover for our little operation. Billy,
who was the oldest, biggest and strongest, stood up
and threw his egg. It made it across the street and
into the parking lot but never came anywhere near the
plate glass window. He got mad and wanted one of us to
give up our egg so he could have another try. We all
refused. We wanted our turn same as him. While he was
pouting, Jimmy ran out into the street and just on the
other side, gave his egg a fling. It hit the sidewalk
just under the plate glass window. He ran back to
where we were all hidden and by that time we were
getting a little antsy. We talked about leaving but no
one really wanted to give up.

After two failed
attempts we felt obligated to stay with it until we
were successful. I surprised myself by standing up and
starting to walk toward the street. I felt like I was
in a dream. I walked into the parking lot and stopped
at a place where I felt confident. I looked back at
the others and my heart was beating like drum. I could
feel my pulse in the blood vessles in my throat...I
was very scared. Too late to chicken out now, I turned
and faced my target. The rest of the world went away
as I focused in on my objective. I began my wind up
and then...I rared back and let 'er fly. All my
motions came together in perfect timing, my arm came
around and just at the right moment...the perfect
release. Nolan Ryan would have stood up and cheered.
Everything seemed to slip into slow motion as the egg
flew in a perfect flight, a flat, straight trajectory
headed precisely for dead-center of that plate glass
window. I could just see the egg exploding and goo
going every where.

I don't think that the egg missed dead-center by more
than an inch or two. What happened next shocked me so
badly that I nearly wet my pjs. I was scared to the
point of being frozen stiff. I suppose the egg broke
alright but I couldn't tell. See, the window shattered
and glass began to fall every where. The noise sounded
flat and like a muffeled explosion because of the fog.
It had and other-worldly sound that really paralyzed
me. The others started yelling and calling me back to
the weeds. I finally snapped out of it and ran back
panting and shaking and wishing I was somewhere else.

We cut back through the neighborhood and wound up in a
washateria on the corner of Southmore and South
Houston Blvd. It was open all night and the
flourescent lights were bright as we sat there trying
to figure out what to do next. The place was deserted
except for us and we didn't realize that from the
street we were as visible as a picture on TV screen.
As a little time passed our fear subsided and we began
to laugh and "celebrate" our success. I took many
pokes on the arm and many "bootcamps" (what we called
putting a knuckle in the hollow of the back of some
one's neck and rubbing it as hard as you could up the
back of their head) as we realized the magnitude of
our success. I'm wondering now, as I write this, about
the alarm. To tell the truth I don't remember if there
was one or not. I certainly don't remember hearing
one. It was only 1955 but I'm sure they must have had
alarms back then.

Eventually we recovered from the initial shock and
fear completely and we just seemed to lose track of
time. We were just goofing around in there, oblivious
to the lateness of the hour and our own extreme
exposure. We all caught our breath as the police car
pulled up and turned on his flashing red light. No
back door. No where to run. Busted.

There were two cops in the car. The passenger got out
and the driver stayed inside and talked on the radio.
When the cop came in he was looking us over with an
awful expression on his face. I fully expected him to
pull his gun. He lined us up on the benches against
the wall and told us not to move and not to speak
unless spoken to.

The other cop came in and they
talked quietly where we couldn't hear. They came over
and chose poor Carl, who was the smallest, frailest,
and shiest of our group. He asked who we were, what we
were doing out so late and how would our parents like
to see us taken home in a police car with lights and
sirens going. Carl told them that we were having a
sleep over at his house and we couldn't sleep so we
came up here so that we wouldn't wake up his parents.

The cop was shaking his head in disbelief but he
questioned us no further. He chewed us out for a while
and then he said that since we lived so close that we
could walk home and he'd follow us...which he did.
When we got to the house he called us over to the car
and told us that there had been some mishcief in the
area and that he suspected that it was caused by us.
We assured him that it wasn't and promised that we
would stay in the rest of the night. When he drove off
we all broke out in a flop sweat and it was arm
punches and bootcamps all over the driveway.

We slipped quietly back into the house and into carls
room where we sat until daylight, too jazzed up to go
to sleep. Next morning Carl's mom made a comment as
she fixed us peanut butter toast that we looked like
we hadn't slept all night. Oh, if she only knew.

Well, You know how kids are. We lived in fear for the
next week that the cops would come back and nail us
for the drug store window. But they never did and the
entire event slipped into the past and became just
another great memory. We had quite a time with the old
grouch at the drug store. We went in the next weekend
and there was plywood and plastic over the empty space
where the glass had been. When we asked him what
happened to his window he exploded on us. He said that
he KNEW that we were the ones that broke it and that
he'd get even with us if it was the last thing he ever
did.
Really...the nerve of some people.

Jack Moncrief
February 17th, 2003

Scarecrow28
02-20-2008, 20:05
Just finished reading the it. Great story and very nice writing.

figment
03-04-2008, 13:55
nicely written. though much tamer than my 60s years :cool::whistling::supergrin:

Robalero
03-14-2008, 20:10
Our own memories and experiences can be so rich. I agree, nicely written.

Robalero