Saturday, October 22, 2011

Summer vacation Part 2

Boy, 12, Rolls, Falls 600 Feet

What I did on my Summer Vacation
By David L. Green
Part II

We crossed the old concrete bridge, across some coal flats and started our ascent up the old coal road. The trip to the top was uneventful, as I recall, with only a few stops to look at an animal or plant or rock.  We were always fascinated with the little sea creatures that were captured and forever entombed in the rocks that made up the mountains. 
Once at the homestead it was good to see the old place still standing but it showed the neglect of time and wear. The old well was still there and we could have pulled a bucket of fresh spring water. Well, that is, if we had a bucket … and some rope.
The apple trees (that we used to climb into to eat green apples until we were sick) were gone and the hedges of berry bushes were grown over and grandma’s flowers and garden had long since gone to dust. But the air was still as clean and clear and fresh as I remembered. The streams that we stopped by were still as cold and clean as ever and the water tasted wonderful. There’s just something about drinking from fresh mountain stream.
On the way back we had stopped for something. I think one of my brothers had become ill or something. I suppose it could have had something to do with all the gunpowder we had handled the night before. But most likely it was something he had eaten.
For whatever reason, we were stopped on a narrow part of the road on what amounted to a wide ledge. During this break in the action, my cousin Danny, who probably had a huge firecracker in his pocket, decided to go down into a narrow gorge.
Danny, always the adventurous one, invited me into the gorge. Keep in mind, Danny had been born and raised in these same mountains his whole life and was more comfortable than the rest of us “lowlanders”.
I refused the offer but Danny would not be dissuaded. “Come on down! You’ll be fine.”
After a few rounds of that debate and not wanting to be ‘shown up’ by my cousin, I decided to join him in the gorge.
“O.K., but if I die, I’ll never speak to you again.” I said, using a popular phrase of the time. Unfortunately, that was the last thing that anyone would hear me say.

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