Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bear Lick Lodge

I mentioned my uncles hunting camp in a post last week.We had some great family times there when young especially some 4th of Julys with Aunts and Uncles but the most memorable was a early November weekend in 1969 when just my Parents,My moms Mother, three of my brothers and a friend of mine went for the weekend.Some of you might have heard this story before in a Yahoo group or the old NYTimes book forums so bear with me.We drove down from Rochester on a Fri afternoon and my grandmother had never been before.She said it looked like hillbilly heaven and it was.A small old uninsulated little farm house with two rooms down and two rooms upstairs.The plumbing was an outhouse to the left of the house and all was perched on the edge of a small hill that led down to a creek.When we got there and turned on the lights that night cluster flys came out of nowhere amusing my grandmother even more.We had the radio on for awhile and then dug out some records.We must have listened to Marty Robbins"A White Sportcoat and a Pink Carnation" about twenty times and still I love the song.Two of my brothers my friend Joe and myself wound up in the kitchen playing euchre and drinking glass after glass of springwater getting giddy from being up in the hills.Around Ten we all headed upstairs except for my dad who slept on the couch down.The beds upstairs were all those old 1930's single iron bedstands with thin mattresses but we thought they were great.As soon as the lights went out the mice in the walls started up and once in awhile we heard one scoot across the floor.If that wasn't enough we soon heard something walking on the roof above us and then the hoot of an owl.For the next forty minutes the owl would walk from one side to the other hoot and move again.My mom was shushing us telling us to go to sleep but for a bunch of 12-14 year old boys this was an adventure.All the springwater I drank finally hit me and since it was around 30degrees outside I spied a plastic cup on a ledge.I went in that and opened the window and tossed the contents out.I climbed back under the covers and about three minutes later my brother Larry asks me what I went in.I told him and he says"Grandma's teeth were in a cup on that ledge." So the four of us sneak downstairs and out the door onto the little front lawn glazed over with frost looking for my granmothers dentures.We are laughing about it and barefoot chilly but after several minutes we don't find the teeth.We decide the heck with it and go back in.But my father for some reason has set the alarm which was basically and old firebell my uncle had to keep the local kids from breaking in over the winter.My brother Mike opens the door and the bell starts clanging loudly bringing my dad off the couch wanting to know what the heck we are doing outside.I mumble something about going to the outhouse and he says "all four of you?,get upstairs and get in bed"We do with more snickering but not before my brother Larry who started all this spots the cup with my Grandmothers Dentures sitting on the other end of the ledge.We never did mention it to my grandmother but years later at a Thanksgiving dinner we finally spilled the story to my parents I think right before the one about who owned the bag of joints in high school my dad found in his wallet/key drawer upon their return from a trip to see my brother in Berkeley.

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