“KK, did the old time Indians play golf?”
What pre thoughts could possible conjure up such a question. We hadn’t been talking about golf or Indians. “Luke, I don’t think so. Maybe they hit a ball with a stick but I don’t think it was golf.”
“Hitting a ball with a stick is golf, KK!”
Me and little Luke are like Mutt and Jeff, Tonto and The Lone Ranger, Tom and Jerry, Batman and Robin, Lonzo and Oscar……..
“You can write a story about us being here by ourselves, KK. You could call it “Awesomeiest All-Time Best Buddies.” I was pondering on how he came up so quickly with such an apt title when he added, “That’s a lot of A’s and B’s, KK!”
“Luke, I don’t write stories about dogs or grandchildren.” How do you explain to an eight year old that such articles tend to be a tad maudlin and most everyone has pets and off-spring they think are smarter, cuter and funnier than mine?
We wouldn’t be by ourselves if Cathy hadn’t a’run off to Tennessee to take her niece on a high school graduation trip. She planned to take Luke to Water World, Ship Wreck Island and on a beach outing complete with sand pails, snorkels and those low setting chairs. I was figuring on a run to the dump with some rotten boards, a back yard work party and lunches built primarily around RC colas and Moon Pies.
Luke and I had been warned to be on our best behavior. My sons and daughters-in-laws hand over the children without a word to Cathy. If I’m involved there’s a little nervous edge to the exchange. I get a written list of “dos and don’ts”. They call every hour to check on us.
“Would you rather be caught by a raptor, pterodactyl or a spinosaurus, KK?” He asked the question like I could give him a first hand, eye witness account of these prehistoric animals. When Luke realized I couldn’t distinguish my raptors from my pterodactyls……..he broke out “Jurassic Park, I, II and III”. I watched mega sized lizards knock jeeps upside down and planes out of the air. I thought they had Dr. Grant for sure in Part One but he managed to hang in to the marines arrived in Part Three!
“Luke, had you rather be caught by the Indian leader Geronimo or The Creature from the Black Lagoon?”
“Did Geronimo play golf, KK?”
We had to go to the Western Channel and look for early American natives. We watched “Stagecoach” with John Wayne. He listened intently to Texas Ruby and Curly Fox doing their 1946 classic, “Don’t Let That Man Let You Down” and commented, “It sounds like they are singing in ‘black and white’, KK!” Before I could think of an intelligent answer he continued, “When was color invented, do you have any more movies with cows in them……and who are Lonzo and Oscar?” His questions had questions.
In between trips to Carolyn William’s swimming pool, the golf course, feeding birds down at the pier and fishing in the bay we watched “Rawhide” reruns where cows stampeded in every episode. We held daily tutorials on early country music duos and memorized “Phantom 309”. It never crossed our minds to go to the beach and sit in those miniature chairs.
Eating sweets after a certain time was high up on the prohibitive list. “We can eat Fig Newton’s after we get in bed, KK, they have fruit in them so they are healthy.” It made sense to me. The marshmallow roast was also his idea. We knew better than to start a fire in the backyard so we turned on the gas logs in the den and toasted away. We set a midnight curfew if we had finished “Jurassic Park” and reached the summit of Mt. Everest.
Me and Luke woke up each morning singing “Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’; Keep them doggies movin’; Rawhiiiiiide!” We drove over to Wakulla Springs to see where they filmed “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”. We walked in the mornings, built Lincoln Log weapons and put Lego sets together. Luke didn’t want to go home. “I’ll tell you what, Luke. Let’s play ‘Rock, Scissors, Paper’ and if you beat me, you can stay another day.” I’m not sure who was the happiest when he won!
Luke would put his drink next to mine in the refrigerator. He laid his bathing suit on the window seat beside mine. Our water shoes rested just outside the door like two peas in a pod. I loved the way his little hand would find mine if we wandered into a strange place, headed across a busy street or saw some grown-ups approaching.
The last night……or really, the night after what should have been the last night……we were all set up for the regular showing of “Jurassic Park”. We had turned the cushions inside out on the couch to make a fort. We had reversed the recliner so we could lay on our stomachs and look over the back and we had the wire basket wrapped over the love seat in case of a pterodactyl attack. “Luke, where do you want to sit?”
He looked the options over carefully and answered, “By you, KK.”
“Luke, how do you spell awesomeiest?”
Luke and KK