Thursday, May 30, 2013

Camping Out


  When I was a teenager I used to camp out with my best friend Gus Fowler who lived on Greenwood Avenue in a big white house the next street over from our house on McKennie. We would camp out in both cold and warm weather because his father worked for the ATF and let us use his government issue sleeping bags that kept us warm as toast in the winter. Many of our friends camped out with us. I had a paper route and my papers were dropped off early, at Company 18 Fire Hall on Gallatin Road. They would help me deliver my route which we delivered on foot or by bicycle. We would usually have them delivered by daylight. My most memorable night was the night that my Aunt Didi grounded me for something I had done. So she told me I couldn't camp out. I was bound and determined to get my way so I went to bed fully dressed. After it seemed that everyone was good and asleep I eased out of bed. After what seemed like forever I quietly unlocked the door. Then I slowly locked it back and ran through the back yard down to the alley. There I ran behind the barn and nearly ran over a cop that was standing at the corner of the barn.

  There was a church across the street and many times cops would park there and talk with other officers while on patrol. Unknown to me a police officer watched my every move as I snuck out of the house. He said "what are you doing boy"? My mouth was moving but nothing was coming out I was so scared. When I finally found my voice I sounded like a little girl it was so high pitched. I told him the truth about being grounded and that is why I was sneaking out. He must have believed me because he told me to go back home. However he told me he would take me to jail if he caught me out again. I don't know if I was more afraid of getting arrested or getting caught by Didi. Somehow I made it back in the house without waking anyone up. Didi never knew anything about this until years later when I confessed at a family gathering. She got a good laugh out of it.

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