We Were Rough On Mailboxes

Published: Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 08:57 AM.

            “But K.K.,” the other twin had been listening to more of this than I realized, “You didn’t have any ‘princesses’?”

            “Hayden, honey,” I picked her up and held her close. “Cynthia Wheat was a princess. Brenda Ellis was a princess. Jan King was a princess. I could name you a hundred princesses from that far away time and place. We were surrounded by them. You may not know this but your Nonnie, once upon a time, was a princess.”  It was her turn for the saucer eyes!

            “That’s enough talk about girls!” Luke didn’t have many rules, but we had broken his main one. “Did you have any ‘characters’ back then?”

            I’ve been waiting half my life for someone to ask me that question! “Son, listen up! We lived practically next door to a guy who thought he was a butterfly. He ate moths and honeysuckle pedals. A classmate of mine tied a kite to each arm and jumped off the top of a railroad car parked up by the old milling company. I was at the prom when Leon rode in on the big horse. I went to grade school with a guy who would make Goofy look like Albert Einstein. Jane Hill opened coke bottles with her teeth. Rollin Trull once jumped six—” Nonnie cut me off with the “don’t give our grandson any ideas” look.

            The talk in the Jungle Cruise line tuned to the anticipated fireworks show. “Luke, shooting firecrackers up in the air ain’t no big deal. Bobby Brewer showed me how to put a cherry bomb in a mailbox. You talk about an explosion! I’ve seen’um lifted right off the post. We’d sometimes put two bombs in a big box…...”

            Molly, the safari dressed guide from Enid, Oklahoma, interrupted the lesson by leaning down and asking Luke if he was ready for the danger and excitement of a real Jungle Cruise.

            “Ma’am,” he looked up with that beautiful innocence his age abounds in, “I think I’ve already been on it.”



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