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ANECDOTES FROM MY PAST-PART1
Fellow Hubbers, and other readers as you may know I love to relate funny things that have occurred during my past lifetime. In this series I will do just that in no particular order, but just as they occur to this old mind. These stories may be things that have happened to me or things that others have recounted to me during my life.
AMBER ALERT BEFORE THEY EXISTED
Back in 1961 my one-year-old nephew Jerry moved into our home with his mother. My sister Barbette had left her husband and brought Jerry home with her. He was like the little brother I had always wanted and now he was here. My Mom always feared his father would abscond with Jerry and watched him like a hawk.
One day in 1963, when Jerry was three, Mom was doing laundry and she came up from the cellar and Jerry was gone!!!!! Mom was frantic as she was sure that Jerry’s dad had stolen him. She searched the entire house at least five times and he was nowhere to be found. She called Barbette at work and said her ex had stolen her son. Barbette told mom to calm down, but there was no calming Mom when she was in a snit like this.
Mom made one more survey of the entire house, but my nephew was nowhere she searched. She sat down on the couch and dried her eyes and was preparing to call my brother Kimmie who was a cop in Moundsville and had heavy-duty law enforcement connections with Moundsville, Marshall County Sheriff, W.Va. State Troopers and Glen Dale police. Just as Mom began to dial the phone she heard a little snicker. She did a double take and listened very carefully and she located a snickering Jerry in the unused fireplace of our living room. Jerry said, ” I hide from grandma.” from the back of the fireplace behind the electric logs (decorative effect only).
Mom was so relieved that she hadn’t set off an Amber Alert before they existed that she just hugged and kissed Jerry, and he didn’t get a spanking due to her relief.
FIELD OF DREAMS OR NIGHTMARES
Long before I had ever heard of Kevin Costner and his movie, “Field of Dreams” I had my own baseball nightmare involving the now five year old Jerry in the early summer of 1966. I had been working afternoon shift at Marx Toy Plant during summer break from WVU. During this summer I was coaching the Glen Dale Pony League team, dating my wife to be, playing with my band, The Darvons, and playing with Jerry and watching his Pee Wee league games in my spare time.
This nightmare occurred while I was wide-awake and I thought I had killed Jerry. I was home in the back yard tossing a baseball with Jerry, and I saw this kid had a talent for the game. I tossed each ball a little higher and he caught each one as well as Willy Mays could have done. He could run and get under my toss and snatch it out of the air like a Major Leaguer. I soon asked him if he would like to go to the big field in Glen Dale and Uncle Tom would hit pop-ups to him. Jerry was as happy as a lark so off we went to the big field.
This kid was amazing. He could run like a deer and grab the ball on the dead run. He never missed, and he wanted more. Jerry said,” Hit it higher and longer Uncle Tom.” I took the bat, and gripped it in my hand, and I let that ball fly off my bat way over his head. Off he flew in hot pursuit of that soaring orb with his back turned he ran right to the spot where the ball would eventually land. I held my breath as he settled under the ball I had just whacked with all my might.
Then to my horror he was right under the plummeting ball, and he lost his nerve as the ball came down so he bent over and put his hands on his head. I screamed,”Jerry watch that ball!” but to no avail as the ball fell smack dab in the middle of his back with a dreadful thud!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was horrified, Oh my God I’ve killed my little brother that I’ve always wanted as he lay the prostrate on the ground. I rushed to the spot where he laid, and my great relief he was all right. He had a little bruise in the middle of his back, but no permanent damage.
I LEARNED MY LESSON
Whew, that was a close call, but we both learned a lesson. Adults must understand a child is still just a child, and don’t project your own aspirations and expectations on them!!!!!!!!!!!!! It almost cost Jerry’s life and my sanity, which has always been fragile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!