Sunday, April 23, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 100th Installment

Wade was one of only a couple of boys with whom we could play within ten miles. His folks had a small farm between our place and the store. We would cut through his farm as a short cut when we walked to or from the little town of Hamer.

Wade was the happiest kid ever living in pitiful conditions. His family farm didn’t produce enough money even to survive, and Blanche’s job as a cook at the little school was the only thing that kept them in food.

When we were together, he would find a comic book, usually ‘Archie’ or ‘Sad Sack’ and read to us. Wade would start snickering just looking at the cover, then giggle and read each cartoon panel. He would laugh at the comic so hard Russ and I couldn’t be sober. We would laugh because he was laughing, even at parts of the comic that weren’t that funny. The rollicking hilarity would continue until the comic was finished. Great Fun!

One time Wade, Russ and I walked to the old shack out in the sagebrush desert. The shack was seemingly there for no reason. There was no farm land broken out of the brush, no road to it to speak of, no reason for it to be there at all. It looked about a hundred years old with two small rooms full of junk and boarded up glassless windows. The board across the door came off easily because it had been removed before. We obviously weren’t the first humans here. We explored the two rooms which took about one minute, then sat in the dirt on the floor and laughed our way through another of Wade’s comics. (He was rarely without a new comic.) Wade liked a good gag, and Russ and I were always up for practical jokes, so we decided to trick up the shack to spook any other haphazard visitors that might break in. We were serious enough to hike to our place, get a bunch of things we’d need and all but ran back to the shack to do the deed. First, we made a hand shaped board that thrust out of a crack in the door when it was opened. Then we put in a trip line to tip over a pile of junk, and then a bag of feathers that would fall and spill when the inside door was opened, and finally another trip wire that would slam the front door. All the way home we gossiped and giggled about some hapless kid triggering our traps in the shack and being frightened to the verge of wetting himself.

A couple of weeks later we returned to the scene of our ‘tricked out’ shack. The front door was open, the hand was sticking out, the junk was spilt over and there were feathers everywhere. We were delighted to see that all of our traps had worked but realized that it’d been a lot more fun

500 more words tomorrow

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