1962-my Hellion years #4- We were not real terrorist
If you been following this story do not be shocked by this post!!! Today we would be called terrorists and locked up for many years, or at least until we were eighteen. Anyway, getting on with the story, my brother Robert and I were in charge of the three younger children, (Mary, Carl and Barbara-oldest to the youngest). After our escapade with tying Carl to the wagon wheel and being punished by Mom, we were good for about a week. Especially since Mom didn’t punish us for cutting down the support beam.
But then our restlessness of being good got the better of us. We went to the wagon and found someone disassembled it so we couldn’t use it. That didn’t deter us, we took the front part missing the wagon tongue and gave the younger ones rides up and down the hill, using the front wheels and axle like a rickshaw. This became boring to myself and Robert, so we took a wooden fence post and attached it in the area where the wagon tongue used to be. When we did that, it looked like an old fashioned cannon, so we started playing war with it. We even wanted to paint it black so it would look like a cannon. The end of the fence post was very pointed. That gave us an idea of placing a tin can on the end with a firecracker in it and lighting the fuse. Success! The tin can flew about five feet. Next we came up with the idea of using more than one firecracker. It had limited success, going about the same distance because the second firecracker exploded after the first one sent the can into flight. What we decided was, it needed more elevation. We made ramps and placed it on the roof of our house. Next we took apart several firecrackers and made one bigger one. Again, Success! With the increased elevation and gunpowder the can soared up in the air landing on the other side of highway that ran in front of our house. On the other side of the road was the local airport. Call it bad timing or just our luck, the air force was using the airport for pilot training, doing touch and go to teach the new pilots how to fly their craft. The airport runway was not long enough for them to actually land, but they would touch down briefly and take off again. Leaving the runaway, they would make a steep turn and come back around to try it again. They were just a little higher than telephone poles, even though there were none near the airport. When one jet came around, we had just fired our make believe cannon right into the flight path of that particular jet. Can you imagine our excitement of actually hitting something with our toy? A tin can hitting a jet makes a lot of noise but does no damage that we were aware of. Anyway, the jets aborted their training and flew off going back to their base. We panicked, because this time we knew we were in deep trouble. We quickly removed the homemade cannon from the roof, returning the wagon parts back to where we got them from. We hoped no one saw us, but we knew we had been in full view of the neighbors. At that time no one really heard of a terrorists, but we knew we were in trouble. Like normal, we walked the mile and half to town and delivered our newspapers. We told the younger ones not to say a thing to anyone about what we did.
Needless to say after we came home from delivering newspapers, we were scared as hell Mom would find out, or the MP’s would be there at our house. When we entered the house, Mom could tell we did something wrong and quizzed us, but we weren’t telling. Mom surprised us by telling us that she didn’t have to go into work that night. Maybe, one of the neighbors told on us, we were too scared to ask why. After eating, we were just cleaning up when an air force vehicle pulled in front of our house. Mom gave us one of those, “Now, what have you guys done?” looks and walked out to meet the Air Force Colonel that disembarked from the passenger’s seat. We went and hid in our beds waiting to receive our mother’s wrath after she learned what we did. They talked for about fifteen minutes then the Colonel returned to his car and Mom came into the house. Mom came in, sitting down at the table and started crying. When she didn’t call us in or threaten to punish us, I left the bed and went standing close to her. She was crying like I hadn’t seen her cry since the death of my father. Finally she spoke through her tears, “You two are going to be the death of me yet!” I was stunned and sad seeing her cry. Right then, I resolved not to do anymore stupid childish stunts and placed my arms around her shoulders. Mom and I became very close after that, more friends than son and mother. I became the one she could count on to keep the house running while she was gone. We stayed on our best behavior waiting to see what or how she was going to punish us for what we did. Looking back, I think us being on our best behavior was punishment enough for her as she saw it. That is why we were not punished, the thought of it hanging over our heads was enough. Fortunately, school started a week later and we didn’t have any time to get into mischief with school, paper routes and the onslaught of colder weather.
Mom got smart the next year, she found me and Robert jobs, leaving my sister Mary to watch over the younger ones during the summer. That is why unsupervised children need activities to engage in to keep from getting bored. Now days, they have TV, video games and other things to get engaged in, we had none of that. Just ourselves to use our imaginations to create excitement.
Have a great day and talk back, I’m listening as always.