Well, the summer of 1958 continued on with William and Peter joining in with our little tribe (if you remember correctly, it began with my brother, Larry, Charlene, and myself). William and Peter lived less than a quarter of a mile down the street from Mike and I. Their dad and mom had a dairy farm that was right within the city limits of Belfast. So I can honestly tell people that I grew up on the farm in the city.
Also, William’s dad had some sort of a lease on the Belfast Airport so that he could cut the hay along the runways. So, we kids had acres and acres and acres of land to play on. We would seek out neat places in the woods where we could build ourselves little “camps” and “forts”.
One nice sunny afternoon while we were constructing one of our masterpieces, my brother Mike began dancing around. He did several pirouettes and did a little jig in place for about 30 seconds before hauling butt heading for home. Well now, let me tell you that there’s nothing meaner than those yellow jacket bees that build there nest in the ground. Especially when you disturb their pleasant little abode which is exactly what Mike had done.
He was running so fast that he could have easily passed a motorcycle. When we finally caught up with him (two miles later), we took him to the pond and made some mud to apply to his many “stings”. Man, those things did a number on him. He’s still allergic to bees to this very day. Lesson learned: Check the area out before erecting your “fort”; like any good realtor knows, it’s all about location, location, location.
Another time, we were down along Little River building a raft. Little River is part of the water supply for the City of Belfast which is dammed up providing a nice little pond for paddling a raft around. There are no cottages or houses along the river so we had plenty of woods to support our “shipbuilding” activities.
We put the last log in place and launched our “yacht” into the river with visions of Huck Finn. All of a sudden cousin Larry began a soft shoe routine on the front of the raft. He did a plie or two along with a couple of patadas before bailing overboard.
It seems that the last log that we had added to our sea worthy vessel was home to some red ants. Now these are not fire ants, but they have a mean bite none the less. And they were none to happy about having their home set afloat so they began crawling up Larry’s legs and chewing on him to register their displeasure. The abandon ship alarm was sounded and it didn’t take long for all or us to be treading water while our newly constructed unmanned raft make it’s way toward the dam with a cargo of unhappy ants.
Ah yes, those lazy hazy crazy days of summer. We had soda and pretzels, but weren’t old enough for beer. Those were fun times and ever locked in our memories. Our Gang had nothing on us.
Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -
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