In 1979 my family lived in base housing at Shaw AFB South Carolina. I was about 9 and my brother was about 8. The school we went to was pretty close to where we lived. So we walked to school and back each day together. There are many fond memories of adventures that we created or experienced on these trips back and forth.
Sometimes we made up original songs and sang them together. One song in particular was so awesome that we couldn’t wait until we were old enough to be discovered by a record agent. I think it went something like “Baby, baby, I love you, love you….” I am 92% sure that Justin Beiber stole these very lyrics from our song. There is probably a huge multi-million dollar lawsuit, that we would surely win if we pressed the issue.
There was the imaginary belief that we were supreme commanders over all the combined US Armed Forces. We were personally responsible for the destruction of all enemies of the World great and small. Go big or go home right! We would argue about which one of us was actually the Junior Officer. I am sure it was me of course, I am the older brother.
Wild Honeysuckle flowers grew in abundance along the fences of the school. It is called this because after you pop the flower off the vine, you can pull the stamen out of the bottom of the flower and eat the droplet of sweet nectar. (Click here to see how to do this.) One is never enough and so we would devour every flower on the vine like a couple of goats grazing a field.
The strangest sight would appear in the trees all over the housing area and around the school. These huge webbed cocoons would form around the nooks and crannies of the trees. After a while they would begin to move and pulsate. Was it the largest egg sac of venomous spiders known to man? Was it early pupae stages of alien life getting ready to hatch and invade our bodies during recess? No it actually was a community cocoon of caterpillars. Hundreds and hundreds of little furry creepy crawlers. We found this out by touching one with a stick and as they came raining down, we ran like Forrest Gump! (If you really want to see this click here!)
And there were the fights. Name calling, pushing, shoving, using your book bag as a weapon fights. I am not even sure what we fought about but, I have the fingernail marks on my wrist to prove that my brother was a berserk maniac! I mean I never did anything wrong, EVER so it had to be HIS fault….. However, once when a particular bully tried to grab my bike, my brother jumped on him, held him down and yelled “RUN David, RUN!” He totally saved my life.
The biggest adventure of them all happened on a very rainy day. Hurricane David (fitting) was hitting the East Coast which included South Carolina. It had been raining pretty hard all day. When the winds picked up and it looked like it was going to get worse, we were all told to get in line at the office and call our parents to come get us. Now, we started to follow directions and got in that line. It was just to dang long! Tired of waiting, we decided in all of our wisdom and experience, that we would actually get home faster if we just walked.
Leaving the school we walked passed all the silly waiters, they would be there forever. Outside one of the sewer drains had filled completely to the point of overflow and a kid was swimming in the waist deep pool of lovely brown water like a happy pig wallowing in mud. Not sure what he was thinking? That was nasty!
Heading off towards our house, the rain was coming down so hard that we could hardly see. “Just follow the sidewalk, it will lead us home” I thought to myself. Not only was the rain picking up but the gale force wind was whipping it around in so many directions that it even was raining from the ground up! We were beginning to struggle even walking upright. We were soaked to the bone! I started to get nervous and wondered “Is this it?” “Are we going to be swept off the planet?”
Just then, a car pulled up next to us. The door opened up and the driver seeing our struggle asked “Do you boys want a ride?” “Yes!” We both answered in unison as we simultaneously leaped into the vehicle. The kind man drove us to our destination, and let us out at our front door.
What? “You got in a stranger’s car?” This is what you’re thinking, and so did my mom. As well as “Why didn’t you call?” And, “Why the heck did you walk home in a hurricane?”
It seemed like a good idea at the time…..
What adventures did you encounter as you walked to school and back?