Friday, November 21, 2008

Old Memories

The logger passed away yesterday. And this one is even more close to me. He was married to my dad's cousin. I will write more of him after his service next week but laying in bed this morning, thinking of him has brought back waves of memories of my early childhood. More than I seem to be able to process or more than my mind wants to catalog. Especially in these wee early hours. So, I thought if I wrote a couple of them down, maybe my mind would allow me to just rest and get some needed sleep.

My earliest memory was being in the living room of our small house. I don't know where my two older brothers were at the time. I am the third son in the family and have three sisters who came after me. The small living room was warm and my mother was ironing and folding clothes while humming a tune (I think it was Hawaiian, she still loves them to this day) and I was watching a scary show on TV. The show was of some people who had gone back in time and were encountering dinosaurs. I remember cowering behind some furniture and peaking out at the scary scene that was unfolding in front of me on the small black and white screen. The people had fallen into a hole that they discovered was the footprint of a large Tyrannosaurus Rex. I recall my mom laughing at me and telling me that it was not real. But there it was right in front of me, as real as it could be.

Being the third of three often times meant just one thing. You were last. One of the greatest feelings that I remember of my childhood was when I would get the very rare new clothes and the feel of those new garments on my skin. Because of it's rarity, it felt so good.

Often times, on Saturday, we would take the big trip to the big city of......Bend. My brothers and I would pile into the back seat of the car. Now, once again, being the third meant I was in the middle. I would sit in the middle of that back seat between my two older brothers. I complained that I wanted to just once sit by the window so that I could see out but was told that I would just have to wait and so, there I would sit, not able to see out the window, only the small bit of front windshield in front of me. Actually, this position in the back seat and the beginning of the trip where I would peer out in front as if I could make the long voyage quicker has left me with a deja vue to this day of the first corner out of Gilchrist and the long road that goes somewhat down hill and is so long that end seems to come to a point.

I remember sitting between those two older bodies and trying to find a flat place to put my feet. You see, being in the back in the middle meant that you had to rest your feet on the bulge that goes from the engine to the back wheels that houses the drive shaft. The bulge was two small to place my feet together on and so they would constantly slip down the side. I would sit there thinking how great it would be to be able to see out the side window, or to have a rest to put my elbow on, or a flat surface to place my feet.

Our trips to Bend were often to handle some sort of business such as a medical appointment or such and since we didn't have much money, my mom would try and find things to keep all of us kids occupied while my father was in some office or getting his hair cut. I recall once waiting outside the barber on Oregon Ave. My mom had bought some ping pong balls from the 88 cent store. She would have one of us place the ball on the sidewalk and then we would wait for some one to walk by and see what they would do with it. I remember them being overlooked, or being kicked, or picked up like a small prize, and one man even just stepped on it and kept on walking. I didn't like that guy. Now you know what we did to pass the time away in the sleepy town of Bend on a Saturday afternoon.

As we would leave to go home, we would stop by Callahans for our last stop. Dad would gas up the car while Mom would go inside and buy bread, bologna, and soda and us kids would hit the small playground off to the side. As we drove off, Mom would make us sandwiches of just Bologna and bread. To this day, this is how I like my bologna.

For a rarity, Dad would stop by where now is Sunriver. Us kids had skates that you could attach to your shoes. Dad would allow us to skate on the old cement slabs from the old base that had been there. I wonder who's expensive fancy home is now sitting on that ground where I once skated.

Before getting back to Gilchrist, we would sometimes visit a relative in Lapine. You see, while my last name is Hicks, I am also a Day. My grandmother was one of the Day girls. She died from complications of the birth of my Father and his twin Brother. My grandfather could not deal with that and left the then three boys with the grandparents who settled on what is now Day road. The old ranch house that my great grandfather built from the timbers of the old Pringle falls electric substation still stands, now a nursery off to the left about half way down the road. I will try and write more about that in other times as I seem to be rambling from one thing to the next.

Getting back to my memories, I recall having a very vivid imagination. I could easily be a cowboy from the old west, or a soldier fighting the Germans, or an explorer of worlds of which I think I liked the best.

I remember once looking into a small old fridge that we had out on the back porch. I crawled into the bottom of the fridge exploring the small cave that was where the bottom shelves used to be. For some reason, the door swung shut behind me and I found my self trapped inside the cave with no way of getting out. I kicked the door but it would not budge. In a panic, I screamed out, hoping to have someone hear me and save me from this shallow grave. I kicked and screamed to what seemed to be deaf ears. Fortunately, my Mom came by about this time, I believe she was taking laundry out to the line. She could hear my faint cries and opened up the fridge. I leaped into her arms thankful for the save while she laughed and then scolded me of my lack of thought of what might happen.

Another time, I was on a hunt in the deep dark jungle. The bugs there were horrible and I was killing them around my camp. A rolled up phone book was my bug swatter and the flies in my bedroom were the annoying bugs. I spied one of the pesty varmints and swung squishing it on the window. But my swing and the size of my bat were too much for the pane and glass sprayed out unto the driveway beyond quickly bring me back to reality. Quickly placing the book back where it belonged I plunged under neath one of the beds in fear of what might happen when my Father was to arrive soon. Although upset, he could see that I had punished my self pretty bad already and my punishment was to help him tape up the window awaiting its repair. I am sure that I had other things to help pay for it but of that I don't recall.

Looking at the time, I think I should just break this right here. Hopefully, this sharing of my mind will allow it to now settle down and give me some respite, at least enough to get the needed rest for this coming day.


The Natives Are Restless said...

Ahh...Callahan's. Freshest chewing tobacco in town. A long time ago, in a place far, far away.

Lana said...

Lyle I miss your stories, I do remember the story about you getting shut in the frige. That must have been so scary for you.
I am so sorry for your loss, my prayers are with you and the family...

diner life said...

Did you see the last Indiana Jones movie. The fridge was the same kind that he climbed into in the movie. He was lucky that it came open after the blast......mine would not have.