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Young………. December 21, 2008

Posted by Glen in Uncategorized.

    This is a story of two teenage boys that lived so close to one another yet meeting by chance one summer. What came from this meeting became a friendship that would last one a lifetime while leaving the other with an empty feeling many years later.

    Back in 1977 I started working the summer at the local school as custodian helpers. There I worked with a friend of mine Danny Jackson, I had known Danny since attending this very school in the first grade. He and his sister Rhonda would be my friends mostly up untill our later years in high school and by that time we had fallen out of touch for various reasons.

    That summer I also started working with and befriended a guy by the name of Dennis Hooker. Dennis and I lived so close but had never met until that time. He and I both had that same boyish playful attitude having fun doing most anything you could imagine. We definately had a sense of humor.

     We’d find ourselves having to do tasks that most would dread but laughing and smiling the whole time as we had become good friends, and let me tell you Good Friends are hard to find at certain times in one’s childhood.

   I remember one time we had to wash the walls of one of the school rooms and it called for using bleach water, by the time we were done we both had a nice set of high fashion bleached jeans as we had gotten into a wet towel fight goofing off.

     Sometimes Dennis would do some things that at the time seemed funny but in my later years may be deamed “overboard” . There was the younger boy that was a pest always riding through the outside walkways on a bike that was several sizes too large for him. He was much younger and surely trying us as he’d ride so close almost hitting us with his bike and at times tipping over trash cans as he rode by them laughing away at us as he rode off. Sort of a young Ernest T Bass off of the Andy Griffin  Show type of fellow.

    One day as he rode by us and had his little impish laugh sounding and dumping yet another trash can over Dennis and I were sweeping the walkway. Right when he was in range riding by Dennis took his broom and threw it like a spear at this boy. It went right where he intended it to, into the fron spokes of the over sized bike this kid was riding. Over the handle bars this boy went. He layed there a moment and I feared Dennis had killed the boy, but no,he sat up after a moment or so and just started laughing and got back on the bike and rode off.  Needless to say we had no more problems from him with this matter after that.

     This was the beginning of two friends rarely seperated from after school hours till the late hours of the evenings. We’d hang out after school often riding to and from with each other and getting into mischief anytime the opportunity presented itself.  If you have ever watched the video of Kenny Chessney’s “Young” that could easily be a song about Dennis and myself and in fact we even looked a lot like the boys in the video as well. We were into fast cars music and being small town boys having a great time growing up. A bit shy of the opposite sex yet in our own turf talked of the things we’d do if one was to be present at any given time.

     Being raised in a small country setting allowed us opportunities a lot of  city boys only dreamed of. Being able to take our shotguns out into our fields for target practice or dove hunting, able to drive like total heathens down long dirt roads imitating a recently viewed “Dukes of Hazzard” episode working on our old cars till the wee hours of the mornings on weekend nights and the list could go on forever.

    I can remember one time my phone rang and it was Dennis asking if I wanted to go for a ride. As normal my answer was sure, he came pulling up in a cab over semi truck his Daddy had just finished working on before having to stop and take a load to Alabama, he figured he’d install the seats upon his return. Dennis came pulling up in it and I opened the door climbing into the cab to find a pair of kitchen chairs being our seats for the ride. We cruised the country side blowing the horns at our friends as we passed there places.

    Another time we were out shooting cans with our guns and on the clothesline was a pair of Dennis’ brothers Timmy’s overalls that had a hole in them. Dennis remarked how he was tired of Timmy wearing those in public and BLAM he shot a big hole right into the seat of them. We laughed wondering if Timmy would notice it when putting them back on.

   Sure we sound like we were bad boys, but no we were just “Young”



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