Ok I am dusting off the old brain cells and going to try and remember the best I can. This Article was inspired from Bonnie's article "The dumbest thing you ever did as a kid." Let me set this story up by saying I was born in 1962 and grew up in the small delta town of Manila Arkansas. I lived 1 mile out of town in the country and back in the sixties and early seventies there were still many old empty farm houses around. Well the neighbor kids down the road used to come down because we had an old empty farm house about a hundred yards from my house (next to the switch patch) that we had turned into a play house and museum. We would pick up old pieces of glass, rocks, marbles and whatever else we would find in the field and along the river banks to put into our museum. The old house was a two story house which was pretty cool we had one hell of a fort when we played cowboys and Indians.(I played the Indian most of the time.)
The neighbor kids down the road....damn there were a sloosh of them I think 13 in the one family lets see if I can remember them. Dorthy, Bobbie, Patsy, Jerry, Tony, Kenenth, Betty, Lisa, Rose, Glen, Freddie nope I guess there were just 11. My brother at the time of this story was 7 or 8 and that would have made me 11 or 12. Ok, The story.
It was a Saturday during summer break Tony, Kenneth, Betty and Glen came down to play. They rode their bike down the dirt road to our house and had brought some hammers and saws with them. My brother Willis and I met them at the play house/fort/museum. "Well what is on the agenda for today guys" I said and gave Betty a wink, had a crush on her as a kid. lol Then Tony spoke up and said that we should build an airplane. We pondered it over and had tons of old planks and boards laying around the farm so we all decided that we would build an airplane. We got everything together and started hammering the shit out of boards and planks. My brother ran over to the scrap pile we had next to the barn and found two old wagon wheels that came off of a radio flier and brought them over to contribute. Glen found an old lawn mower blade for the propeller. The older ones Tony, Kenneth, Betty and myself sawed and nailed the wings and tail to the body of the plane. It was big enough for one person. We put the wheels on and found a big bridge nail to put through the lawn mower blade and nail that to the front of the plane. we gave it a test spin and damn it worked as rust flew of the shaft of the nail.....Good Gawd Safety first....
We stand back and look at our contraption and smile a five foot long plane with a six foot wing span. At this point in the story I think now at age 48 STUPID someone is going to die...lol but back then it was just COOL. So now comes the big test will she fly? Hell yes she will fly, Betty doesn't think so. She asked how we were going to get it off the ground. Tony suggest we get on top of the roof of the old farm house. We re-thought that idea just in case it didn't fly. Kenneth said he had seen a TV show where they tied a glider plane behind a truck and pulled it till it got in the air......F IN cool we got enough bikes we can tie ropes to and pull that puppy down the road till it is airborne. Ok now who is going to fly in it.....Glen and Willis were the two youngest and weight the least. Glen chickened out in which my brother Willis called him the P word and said that he would do it. Mount up boys we are about to make flying history hummmmmmyeah right. Willis hopes his little ass in the plane with a pair of clear welding goggles that dad had laying in the barn. We take off peddling our asses off. Were picking up speed and yelling at my brother "Can you feel it lifting off the ground yet". He yells back "Not yet you gotta go faster. We stand up on our bikes and give it hell. About twenty more feet down the road and we hear a pop and hear my brother yell oh shit. We just think he is lifting off so we pedal harder. The we hear him yell top speed yeah faster or at least that's what we thought he yelled then we turned around to look and damn we had lost a wheel and that lawn mower blade was throwing up dirt in my brothers face as we dragged his ass down that dirt road. We finely got stopped and he said didn't you hear me yell stop please. No I said I heard you say top speed yeah faster. spitting dirt from his mouth and wiping the rest with his hand he said " No Gdamn it I said stop please you bastard."
Well we junked the plane at this time one of the other brothers to the kids were there pulled up on his bike decked out in a cape (bath towel) and a batman mask. Freddie what are you doing we asked and he said he wanted to play cops and robbers today and he was going to be bat man and someone else could be his side kick Robin. Ok sound like a good Idea we all chose sides the good guy and the bad guys. I was on the bad guys side. so here we are running around I got to kidnap Betty and took her to my hideout by the way it was over in the switch patch.......sometimes it was hard to see inside the switch patch so I stole a few kisses in that patch. Ok back to the story I have Betty in my hideout and the others are robbing the bank, the down stairs part of the playhouse. When all of a sudden I hear my brother yell from the second story window Help. I look over and here is Freddie in his batman outfit hanging about 3 foot from the ground flayling like a fish out of water. I yell for his brothers to come help me. I run over and Freddy has the rope tangled around his neck and shoulder and he can reach the ground and he can't pull the rope from around his neck. His brothers come out and we get under him and lift him up so he can breathe. I tell my brother Willis to untie the rope and throw it down. Ok excitement over and Freddie is alive, we asked him what he was doing and he said he was walking down the side of the play house like batman did on TV and his foot slipped.
We all survived that day to play again. God it is a wonder that we made it. The ole gang is still around most of them still living in the same town and we get together sometimes and talk about the old days. Oh Betty grew up nicely and so did Lisa.