Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Young Texas Boy


I was thinking a few pictures might be worth a few words....

The first photo is the old fort down by the creek.

The second is another view of the West Wing.

The third is a view of the waterfall during the rainy season.

When I was a kid, I had a blast playing outside. While I offer you a sample of a weekend camping trip from my youth, I assure you that these events aren’t exaggerated. For that matter, you might not find them interesting at all. That being the case, I’ll share with you a day in the life of a young Texas boy….

A Day in the Life of a Young Texas Boy

My friend and I had gone out playing with our BB guns, and there was nothing unusual about that—it’s something we always did. I lived on a ranch and my friend, Marty, would join me for the weekends, and off to the creek we’d go.

It’s been years since I walked those trails we made, but as I sit and close my eyes, I can see the path as it wound through the pasture. We would cut through the garden, jump over the barbed wire fence, and hide behind an old water trough, just in case someone was following. Then it was past the short mesquite tree, and around a telephone pole. Quickly! Before anyone sees us! We were under the trees now—but that’s where the Indians hide, so keep your powder dry… We would skim over the dry waterfall and cross under the wild pecan trees. Now we were at home.

We had fashioned a fort out of fallen trees and limbs; it was fair-sized and stood around 4 feet tall. Inside there was enough room for a tent or some horses, but not at the same time. In the “west wing,” there were great intentions to build a stagecoach stop, just incase the West returned and needed a place to rest the horses. In our eyes, we’d built a second Alamo, and it was a really great place. On the south wall we’d built against some cacti, which prevented any Union soldiers from seeking up and flanking us.

We would spend hours walking up and down the creek collecting treasures. Anything of value (which is in the eye of the beholder) would be taken to the fort and locked away in the armory. For example, I had a turtle shell, which I used for cooking, an old frying pan that had completely rusted through, and some old paint cans. The list would grow with each summer.

When we’d camp out, we would end up shooting 40 to 50 Indians—each, (it was our duty to protect the defenseless settlers). Then, in the mornings, we would make the charge at Gettysburg, only this time General Lee was proclaimed President of the World due to our swift victories. When the afternoon skirmish came, we were joined with the Choctaw Nation fighting off Geronimo or Sitting Bull. There are thousands of dead soldiers and warriors lying out in the pasture along the creek. Once in a while we would shoot Nazi Storm Troopers or Darth Vader’s Storm Troopers, and we never ever lost a battle. But all of that was just for fun, and was nothing compared to the battle that occurred in the evening as the sun set. That’s when we’d defend the Alamo one last time. We would trade turns being Davy Crockett, and we would hold off the Mexicans until the last minute, and then Davy would die, swinging his rifle, because he’d run out of bullets.

We named every cow trail that crossed the creek. I remember having Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, and Brown Trails. (Apparently, we weren’t very creative.) We also had our Civil War trails, cowboy trails, and so forth. None of these trails went anywhere, they were just trails.

Food? There was more food out there can you could shake a stick at. There were rabbits, and when the creek ran, fish. We ate lots of roots and plants, and thousands of sparrows. However, it seems to me that I was the only one that actually ate those things; everyone else ate their sandwiches of canned stew. Since marshmallows weren’t cool, we roasted cans of pudding and wild pizzas. We would drink gallons of Cokes and lemonade. Of course, we never drank beer, because we were good Christian boys, but we always pretended to do so…

Yikes, look at the time. It seems to me that I’ve been yappin’ on for quite a while, and it’s time to bring these random thoughts to a close. Perhaps some of you have childhood memories that make you smile. I invite you to share them with us now.

3 comments:

Alison said...

Again, I'm glad you added the pictures.
I can think of hardly any better ways for a kid to grow up than what you've recalled here. What a great place to run around, explore, scrape your knees, and use your imagination.

Alison said...

P.S. Who's in the first picture?

Travis said...

Very observant. That is a very young Will with a very ugly 80's hat.