Howitzer over Suberbia

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
These are short stories about my life growing up in a small town in Washington State

Submitted: July 12, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 12, 2017



Table of Contents (Stories to follow)  


1.  Howitzers over suburbia

2. Yamaha Moto bike

3. Blowing up the Unger’s mailbox

4. My dad can sell anything beef jerky

5.Killing the turtles at Winjum's

6. Snowball fight in the house

7. Icing the hill for sledding

8. Pop roc sales a NVE

9. Sleeping with a brick

45. Sauerkraut canning at home

46. Washing weenies

10. Baby food surfing

11. Cleaning and repacking baby food for Charlie

12. Indian halibut fish trip

13. Mail truck sunk in the mud

14. Jumping the mail truck

15. Mail truck cat skateboard

16. Mail truck jumping over wall

17. Mail truck and the  helicopter

18. Cut my leg off with a chainsaw

19. Allen krainbuel and the naked girl in my locker


21. Wild turkey first time

22. Ordering 26, 55 barrels of oil for the sps40

45 shell dropped in et shop. Dot blower tool

23. Hanging mike f Leake

24. Styx calibrating the shm

25. Blow the dca  

26. Signal gen up the mac

27. Gear closet and the EMO

28. The hurricane in Alaska chilkoot Charlie’s and the bus incident

29. The visit to Portland for the rose festival and the 10 people in the CRX

30. Flash light in SD bay

31. ST and the DOT blower

32. Navy and the condom hatch incident

33. Wog day

34. I speak a good English

35.  Visit to India

36. QG in the Persian Gulf

37. Cat in the dash laptop RFI

38. Brut hairs having his way with me at the flat

39. Passing food down the conveyer with the ph chief

40. Playing rugby with the Singapore national team

41. Las Vegas 2 weddings 1 invited

42. Passport Seattle

43. Father truck in camp ground

44. Iron on the chest in BEE



I was about seven a typical boy in 1973 times were different then.  During the summer it was not uncommon for us to get up grab a Twinkie or in my case a pickle as my mother did not believe in such frivolous snacks or so called breakfast foods.  We would head out with our bikes and you may see us at lunch but most likely it was at dinner 11 hours later. Then after a 45 min dinner it was out to play for another 3 hours until the sun went down or you were called in.  Unless you were Kenny, his mom made him check in every two to three hours, he always had to stop and do a check in, life really sucked for Kenny.  People ask me why I am the way I am today I could tell them it is because my sister ran over me twice with the Dodge station wagon when I was 3. But mostly I think it was from my dad and his ability to see the glass as half full even when it was cracked and slowly leaking water onto my mother’s table.  Or his sense of humor and ability to see the good in all things, Yes life was good in 1973.

We lived in a small town next to a much larger city; it was established in 1925 and has a long heritage of fishing, logging and shipbuilding.  It was the kind of town where you know most people there was a baseball field in the center with the pool that I learned to swim at.  My father used to take me to a older gentleman downtown to get my haircut at the barber shop my dad and I would get a trim and I usually would have it shaved off in back and on top like a aircraft carrier. After we got our hair cut we would walk up to the Food King and get an ice cream, then head home. The town was a bedroom community from the shipyards and the sawmills, people would work all day building or selling something then drive over the hill 3 miles to our little town to live.  It was and is a nice place a small town with lots of character.

It was on one of those summer days in July that began the greatest summer an 8 year old could ever have one that I remember with fondness and pain.  That summer started like any other long hot days in the north 16 hrs of sunlight and 85 degrees,  we were Boys, pure boys most of us anyway, some  of us were chicken.

My parents had just built a new house by themselves in a new development. At that time there were only 10 homes out of a possible 100 or so.  Across the street lived my best friend mike, and down the street lived Kenny and my other friend David.  We were the 4 musketeers, always causing or getting into trouble.  On this particular summer day we were walking through the grass fields of the undeveloped lots in our new neighborhood and Kenny made a find. It was a sling shot arm, not just any arm but it stood three and a half feet high with a v on the top of approx 20 inches the diameter of the stem was about 4.5 inches. It went up to the top of the y to a perfect 1 inch diameter. This was a slingshot that needed to be built. We decided right there that we had to create a super secret operation to construct the launcher.  It must not fall into enemy hands namely our brothers or parents. We were going to meet the next day to start design and construction of the sling shot. We left the y in the field because if anyone saw us carry out a big y out of the woods the gig would be up. And who but us would pick up a stick/log except to burn and it was late June. We still buried it with other logs and sticks we found to camouflage it.

So the next day we met to start assembly it was decided to make it a mobile sling shot for that we needed something to hall it around with. I do not know where Kenny came up with it but today I am sure there was some little kid who was missing his radio flier wagon, we probably scared him or her for life. Step two of the plan was to cut a hole into the bottom of the wagon.  This took a long time with a drill and snips and a hack saw. You need to understand the utmost secrecy we were working under, this was our Manhattan project, any security leaks would spell cretin doom and or unit confiscation, POW at each of our houses Next came a bucket fit into the center of the whole.  Mike provided the bucket from his dad’s garage. Lastly we needed concrete which I provided thanks to my parents, we were in the process of building concrete walls at our new house in the garden. We cemented the sling shot into the bucket with a slight upward angle of a few degrees.  Mike provided several feet of surgical tubing to use as the sling.  It was getting dark so we decided to try the device know named the Betty the mobile howitzer the next day


The day was a typical June day in western Washington cool mornings and long hot afternoons the field grass in the area typical grows to about 3 feet high then dry’s in the hot summer sun. We decided to do our first live fire from the local field next door. We called it the turkey farm as it had been a turkey farm in its past.  We set up the howitzer about 150 yards from the back of mikes fence. Pointed at the screen door windows of course, we need something to aim at. Our first attempt was a dry fire mike pulled back on the rubber bands and the wagon came with him.  We had to drop back and regroup after successfully chalking the wheels and testing with a dry fire it was time for live ammo.

I found a suitable rock about the size of a large grape we placed it in the web and walked back about 5 feet and let her go, the rock left the breach with such velocity that resounding pffft was heard.  And we had not even pulled back all the way.  With another rock in hand we pulled back all the way and heard a pffft, bang the band was it hitting mikes fence 150 yards across the field. We also notice that we had invented the weed wacker. But after 10 or 20 pffft, bangs it got boring mike had to go home and Kenny had to go to some family thing so we decided to meet tomorrow for phase two.  We hid the howitzer at my house under a tarp.

Day two was another beautiful summer day; we assembled at the designated point for howitzer transportation. Mike brought with him the ammo 3 baskets full of golf balls he creatively acquired from his dads garage.  We rolled the gun up to the end of the street which was a bluff overlooking the small town of Fircrest.  This area was a hilly area left over from when the bull dozers had cleared the lots and built the road.  Now it was mounds of grassy hills 15 feet high or so we selected the tallest pointing toward downtown. Chocked the wheels which in our case meant we buried them.  Picture a wagon at the top of a hill 15 feet in the air angled down the hill at a 45 deg.  We were ready for a test fire we took a golf ball and put it in the web pulled it back 10 feet and let go.  It hit the y re adjust the angle of wagon and retest. Now imagine 3 kids standing around a wagon and letting go of the sling shot and watching the golf ball just clean disappear,  cool we looked at each other and said fire for effect.

We had a system, Kenny went and pulled the tubing down to the same point every time, I handed mike the ball, mike placed in the breach and released. Kenny was already up on the hill ready to get the tube again to reload.  Now think of what we are doing at the time we were just dumb kids it never occurred to us.  First golf balls are meant to fly, second we pulled the tubing back to the same point every time.  And what goes up must come down that whole gravity thing.

Now we had three buckets of balls about 250 or so we launched all of them in about 5 min, fire for effect, we were having a great time when we got done we sat down and laugh and joked.

Then it happened, the man came a calling we heard the sirens coming from about a mile off we ran to our designated safe spots. To wait it out we heard the coppers come up the street and stay for a while then they left. We all came out from our safe spots.  I do not know where Kenny or mikes safe spot was, nor did they know mine that prevented one of us from fingering the other guy if he was captured. We went to the scene of the crime and our howitzer was gone as well as our baskets.

Later that night on the news there was a story about a golf ball shelling in Fircrest; it seems windows of cars were broken hoods dented shingles taken off roofs, and all within an 800 foot circle on a street in Fircrest. The one lady who witnessed the chaos was reported as saying “they just came out of the sky and fell everywhere breaking everything” My Father looked at me and asked me  “do you know anything about this Paul “  nope nothing  I replied.


I was maybe 8 or 9 I had a old bike a schwinn coaster brake model with ballooned tires that was handed down from my brother it had scratched paint, a bent rim, and so many holes in the seat I lost count. I think most of you know what I am talking about a single speed, coaster brake, no fenders or chain guards so you had to tuck your pant leg into your sock when you went riding so you did not bite it.  But it was mine and I loved it, even with all of its scratches and dents.  Until the Yamaha shock bike, a bike for the ages.  Yellow like a real motorcycle front and rear shocks, cool handlebars, Yamaha on the side. Every kid within a thousand miles wanted one but they set you back some coin, way more than my parents we going to pay for a bike I had a perfectly good hand-me down.  It was the coolest thing in bikes Kenny, David or I had ever seen and mike had one.  We all wanted to ride it but mike only would let us for a few minutes and certainly not off a jump.  This was a time in history when Evil Ken veal was big and as youths in Washington we wanted to be just like him.  If there was something to jump over we would find it, anything we rode our bikes off of ever increasing jumps, on this particular day we went down to an area by our house we called Poda Checks.  It was a very large forest filled with animals and trails about 6 miles square we could ride all day in the woods under the trees and frequently did.  On this day we were building jumps at the bottom of a trail and jumping off them.  After each jump we would build it higher and do it again.  We used to creatively acquire lumber from the houses being built in the area and use them for forts and jumps and such.  Today we were jumping starting at 1 foot level we all went off without issue, so we raised the ramp to 14 inches and went off again no problems. 16, 20 we skipped 18 because we had a 4x4 then we went to 24 inches and David dropped out, we all called him chicken BAC, BAC, BAC, chicken and continued to jump.

You see this was a test of manhood and we all knew it, even if we did not say it. Mike thought he was the best because he had the Yamaha even if he wasn’t. The ramp was extended from 4 feet long to 6 feet long with newly acquired plywood.  We sent David to get some as the newly crowned chicken he had to do the dirty work now. We want to 28 inches and we went off but Kenny fell bad popped a tire skinned a knee and his face, we basically killed Kenny, so he was out of the competition, still a man as he did not give up, he went down in combat.We went to 30 and both mike and I went off. Next came 36 and we were out of lumber to build it higher but we needed a new ramp, David did come through he went and found and 18 wide piece of ½ thick plywood 8 feet long.  Perfect we used the 4 foot piece as a pre-ramp and the 8 foot piece as a bridge in the middle between the jump end and the end. We thought we had a nice 12 foot long ramp, Cool. I told mike to go first but he wouldn’t he said for me too I called him a chicken, he then called me one and so the chicken name calling continued for a few min, until I said I would go on it if I could us the Yamaha shock  bike, more heavy negotiations. He only agreed after I told him I would do it from the top of dead man’s drop, Mike finally relented, so I took the bike and rode off to hear mike yelling at me to not scratch it. You see the area we were at was below a large hill that the bottom was fairly flat leading to the small clearing with a canopy of Douglas fir trees, old growth trees 24-36 inches in diameter 200 feet tall.  The top of the hill was a drop, dead man’s drop near vertical drop about 25 feet down to a steady 50 degree hill the slowly leveling to flat ground in the clearing where the jump was set up where the LZ was.

I took the bike to the top of the drop and sat there waiting and looking over the edge deciding if my manhood was worth this. Then I hear from the clearing  bac,bac,bac, chicken bac,bac,bac, chicken you’re a chicken you won’t do it. With that I swallowed hard and went over the drop I was going to prove to them that I was the best and prove my manhood was better than Mike's.  If you have ever ridden a 1 speed coaster bike there is a point where you reach terminal velocity where no amount of pedaling will make you go any faster. I hit that at about 40 feet down the hill it was all up to gravity now. I got to the bottom of the hill and I guess I was doing about 25 to 30 MPH I lined up on the ramp and prepared to hit it. I was evil kenvel with no helmet as I started up the ramp things started to get interesting.  The first 4 feet went well it was the next 8 that caused a few issues. Imagine a ½ piece of plywood suspended between two points and a moving heavy object coming on the end at the low point.  As I moved down the ramp the ramp started to deflect by the time my whole body was on there I had significantly changed the launch angle of the jump. I am not sure what happened next but I was told by eye witness it was cool, it seems the jump support fell not all the way just a few inches a 2x4 or 2 it squirted out nearly hitting Kenny.  I went mostly vertical about 12 feet that is where I hit the tree branch the big one 8 inches in dia I was ok though as I used my head to hit it. It did knock me off the bike where I fell to the ground backwards onto my head to break my fall.

I remember waking up with three boys standing over me I tried to get up but I fell back down and my head really hurt they told me I was out for about a minute or so. I decided to lay there for a while until I could get up as I could hardly stand. That took a long time about 15/20 min. They thought I might be dead but I was still breathing so they knew I would be ok.  When I finally got up I said I wanted to go home because I had a headache and I could not see very well.  And I scraped my elbow and my Head when I hit the tree and fell, I bleed all over my clothes oh great I was in trouble for getting blood on my clothes.  Mike was mad at me, I had scratched the Yamaha and popped the tire, I pushed my old bike home as I could not ride it very well, the whole balance thing.

When I got home I told my mother that I fell on my bike and I had a headache and I was sorry for the blood, I was going to go lay down this was about 4 pm on a summer day at 9 am the next morning I woke up.  I felt much better we went out and started jumping again this time on asphalt, it is much safer.

My dad can sell anything

My dad was the perfect salesman, he was one of those guys that could sell anything to anybody he could sell ice to a Eskimo in the dead of winter in Alaska and get him to wonder how he had ever lived without ice for so long.  I learned a lot from my father about human nature and the art of selling, it was on one of those days that I learned a lesson from my dad.  The drivers would They would write the order and I went into the warehouse to fill it. When I came out with a hand truck with only a few box’s of O Boy Oberto jerky, cheese and such on it. My dad ask why the order was so small, Dave told my dad he was going to Vegas and he did not want to have a full truck because he would have to run his reefer for the week he was gone.  My dad says let’s talk, and he takes the order sheet from me and fills it out for him and sends me off to fill the order. This time I need a cart.  When I return with the goods Dave and my dad are joking and laughing, as I help them load his truck up with the full order which he gladly signs for.  When he leaves, I ask my dad how he did it too get Dave to buy a full load on goods. He tells me, Dave wanted to go to Vegas and he also wanted to buy a full load of merchandise, my job as a salesman was to help him find a way to make what I needed and what he wanted one and the same.  Sales is about listening and helping your customer meet their dreams and goals.  By doing that you help them and indirectly you help yourself as you are paid for your service, there were two issues here.  One it being a short week for him, second the power issue, i.e. the cost of refrigeration. So I solved the problem by appealing first to his business like mind, I gave him 2% off of his order, if he ordered today and pulled a full order.  Second he will be dropping the truck off and I will be paying for the refrigeration for the week, a very small cost as we pay for power any way.  And third I told him we would wash his truck before he left today,  Paul the bucket and hose are over there….


I used to go on road trips with my dad during the summer for his company, he owned a food distribution company that sold food to grocery stores all over several western states by independent owners, and the drivers owned their own trucks and product and the route and my dad sold them the food stuff.  When they wanted to go on vacation my dad would fill in for them and covered their routes. In my family the 4th of July was a holiday to be celebrated,.  I was raised by my father and mother who both lived through the depression and were very grateful of the gifts this country had bestowed upon them. That is why it should be celebrated with fireworks and much fanfare they both loved fireworks of all kinds, firecrackers, bottle rockets, basically anything that explodes or can hurt you in any way, I still love them. Secondly my father was a capitalist who believed that the only reason for making a product was to sell it and if he did not sell it then someone else would.

As I told you my father filled in for his drivers, This is what took us to Montana in the beginning of June, my dad either knew or met a dealer of fireworks, as in Montana where they we cheap and plentiful.  After we were done with the grocery business we went to la Havre MT and picked up a load of fireworks, not just 1 box but a truckload 8 feet wide by 14 feet long.

And headed west I don’t think my dad thought there was anything wrong with what he was doing, he paid cash for the fireworks and was taking them home to sell.  It is the thing to do on the 4th of July, he was going to make a buck and support his family what does the ATF care about carrying explosives across state lines.

When we got home we put the fireworks into our basement this was in the middle of June.  About a week later the Indians started to sell the fireworks for the 4th  so as soon as they went on sale it was ok for us to light off a few. Now imagine 4, 9 year olds with an almost unlimited supply of fireworks, firecrackers, bottle rockets, M-80’s ground bloom flowers, my dad’s favorite ECT.

My dad sold half of the booty in the first few weeks and made all of his money plus some, so he told us to have as much as we wanted but to be careful, sure dad I said.

Now that I have set the stage I will begin by telling you he was mean he was my parent’s Neighbor Mr. Unger.  I don’t know if he hated kids or just us.  He had this patch of grass on the street about 10 feet wide between his house and the road.  Kenny and I were just sitting on the grass when he came out and yelled at us to get the hell off his property.

He did not know it at the time but he just threw down the gauntlet. From that 4th it was decided that his mailbox shall not live to see another day, Kenny, Mike and I went to the fireworks room as we know called it on or about July 1 1975 at that time in Washington as well as other states you could buy m-80 or ¼ sticks of dynamite as they were known. They were very useful for many applications they were perfect for any demolition, fishing or blowing your finger or hand off.  And we had them by the box load so why not use them to do some demolition or redesign of a mailbox or two. We sat down in the bunker and figured out a plan of attack to blow up Unger’s box. We needed to wait until they were gone from home and it was a Sunday which meant that Monday at high noon was d-day when they were at work. We would meet at the bunker at 11 to set up.

D day. We met in the bunker and decided to complete the prelim work in my backyard. The fuse timing, we need to see how much time we had from when we lit the fuse until it blew.  It was decided as with most of our jobs that Kenny would do the dirty work, one he was expendable and two he had a built in alibi that he could not have done anything as he was at home doing a checking.  We went outside to my backyard with a pocket full of m-80 and a mission. Kenny put the M-80 on the ground and got ready to light it. Kenny bent over the ¼ stick of dynamite and yelled fire in the hole, struck the match and ran away about 20 feet stopped  then turned and looked.  I was staring off at a cloud so I never saw Kenny light it, he was about 4 feet from me when it blew running away; it was quite an explosion from ground zero.  Of course Kenny was a safe distance away nothing like deserting your troops in battle.  It would have been better if he had told us before he lit it off behind our backs, but no harm no foul.  But worst of all I was not ready to count  we got a cool explosion with no data, try #2  Kenny put it on the ground and yells fire in the hole this time making sure we are looking at him.  He then lights the fuse and I count one thousand, two one thousand ECT this worked pretty well, after five explosions the fuse time was about 4 seconds we only really needed two charges the last three charges we spent blowing up an ant pile.

The plan, we decided that we needed to tape the ends of the mail box with duct tape and seal the door shut. This would allow for the best explosion a small closed space with H E in it.  I had the tape; the Unger’s had the box and were not home, so we went over to plan the op.  We went to the box and taped the back to give us a good seal.  Then we taped the front door but did not seal it we just opened it. The plan was this I would light the fuse, Kenny would put it in, mike would shut the door and seal the tape as tight as possible while I yelled off 0ne one thousand two one thousand ECT. We had 4 seconds, plenty of time in 4 seconds you can get 10 feet away from the box. Granted this was an ambitious plan but we were trained professionals working with high explosives and took our jobs very seriously. Kenny was nervous as his mom made him paranoid with all of her checking and being safe crap so handling HE was new to him a guy can’t live like that working around HE scared him and it showed.  Round 1 went down like this, Kenny held the m-80 I lit it and started counting I got to one, one thousand 0ne point five when I realized Kenny threw it into the metal box t so hard that it bounced right back and hit him smack in his white shirt and shorts and stuck there.  One thousand two run Kenny mike and I started running on thousand three. We all got about three steps when the dam thing (one thousand four) It dropped to the ground from Kenny’s shirt as he turned to run  then the earth shattering ka-boom from behind us.

Round 2 I lit it Kenny threw it slowly this time, mike sealed the lid and we ran we also got about 2 steps but this time a new sound much like the side of a 55 gallon drum being hit with a baseball bat. When the smoke cleared we took a look at our handiwork mailboxes are basically a piece of sheet metal folded in half and riveted to a bottom and a end put on with a door the rivets on 1 side were blown out and the box was now a serving tray the end was still there but parallel to the tray, the lid was on the Neighbor's house across the street. But the best part of all was the mail had just been delivered before we blew it up. We did not know it at the time of the detonation. Or we would have taken it out because everyone knows it is a federal offence to mess with the mail.  But anyway it was in shreds and scorched on the bottom of the box. Tell us to get the hell off your lawn.


That same summer we had a unlimited supply of bottle rockets and as red blooded Americans what was better than to celebrate the fourth than a reenactment of a the battle of Lexington to celebrate our country’s independence.

Our Neighbors on the other side of my parents had a house that was new and they just moved in their names were the winjum's very nice people, always letting us play in there yard and such.  You see the house had a deck overlooking the grass which was terraced on a hillside backed up by a forest of virgin timber Douglas fir 200 ft tall.  The plan was to have a fire fight with bottle rockets launched at each other, like mortars or rockets. The way to fight with a bottle rocket is to use a punk grab the rocket by the red stick point it in the general direction you want it to go light the fuse, when it fires let go. You now have a semi guided explosive device.  We spent a few hours setting up for the battle each of us had two or three bricks of bottle rockets. 24 packs of 12 rockets each or 288 rockets per brick.  We broke open the rockets and laid them out in locations so we could move and fire use up that ammo move to the next dump and continue. As well as carry several hundred of them on us with a few m-80 for HE.  We divided up into two teams red and blue, no one wanted to be the redcoats as they were the bad guys, so in a effort to appease the enemy, we gave the red coats superior  fire power. We were forced to turn over all of our m-80 and they got the high ground, the deck.  The teams were Kenny, mike, Dave and I Kenny and Dave were redcoats on the deck, mike and I were the blue in the brush over the wall, under cover.

The battle we lit the punks and made ready for the red coats. At first we sat there staring at each other waiting to see who was going to fire the first round. The red coats did with volley of rockets from the deck after they had spent 25 min setting up charges to send our way. Mike and I were hunkered down behind the wall as bottle rockets raced over us and hitting everything and then exploding we stood and began to return fire, sending round after round up on the deck. We hear the screams from the deck area, duck, lookout here comes one so we knew we were on target. Next we see an m-80 land 3 feet from my feet; I yell incoming and jump out of the way. On the way down I am hit by two rockets.  One of which hits me and glances off harmlessly the other catches in my shirt, I feel the sparks starting to burn my skin and then the ka-boom as the charge detonates, under my left rib, I am on the ground and I yell man down. Mike yells at me to get up and help him return fire.  I stand and start to pull rounds from my shirt pockets and fire with so much veracity that the hulk would be proud, I am now standing up in the line of fire because I am mad and I am going to take these suckers down the British will not hold this fort.  As mike is firing from the cover of the bunker I jump onto the grass of the back yard and do a walk/crawl toward the house.  Under heavy fire I am hit with two more rockets one on my head and one on my shoulder both causing burns but the worst was the m-80’s the first one landed at my feet I dropped and rolled to my right into more rocket fire they had me bracketed the next m80 fell to my right so I had to rollback the other way.  But what I did not see was that they had thrown two M-80 to the other side on my left and I rolled onto it.  I now had a ¼ stick of dynamite in the middle of my back. Cool this was what being an American fighting soldier was all about.  I know it was there right away from the burning on my back from the fuse, so I continued to roll I had just cleared the stick and my face was the other way when it went off I felt the blast it was like someone taking a hot shovel and hitting you square in the middle of the back as hard as they could. I felt the blast deposit rocks in my back it dug from the soft grass in the Winjum’s back yard; by the way did I mention the Winjum’s were in Europe for 2 weeks on vacation. So now I just got up and rushed the deck. But I never made it Kenny and David had been busy pelting mike with bottle rockets while he was hold up under the tree. Mostly David Kenny was busy with me.  They were yelling now to cease fire cease fire, mike did not know it yet he was still firing away, when I looked he was standing under the first of a 200ft roman candle the ashes had started to fall on mike when he realized what had happened He got out of doge.

Fire brigade

I knew it was time to put out the fire or we and the fireworks would be gone. So I told mike to get a hose from my backyard, I grabbed the one the winjms had, and then I told Kenny and David to pick up all of the fireworks they could find used or unused and hide them and  Do it fast.  AS we went to firefighting the blasé another 200ft tree went up, by this time we had two hoses on the fire one on the left and one on the right.  Kenny and Dave had most of the stuff cleaned up.

I told Kenny  to go get my baseball bat and our gloves that were in the front yard of our house from last week before the fireworks showed up, when he got back with that. We started to hear the fire trucks I told them our story was we were playing ball and we saw the fire and we came over to put it out. Don’t say anything else, let me talk if at all possible

As soon as the fire department showed up they had the fire out in about ten min. after the fire was out the fire chief came over to us boys, and had us sit down on the curb, he asked us the regular info about our names, rank and serial number. He asked us if we knew what had happened, I was the first one to open my mouth, as Kenny was about to say something and he would have cracked under the pressure of the integration.  I said that we were playing baseball in the street over there.  We heard the fireworks go off and the next thing we knew we say was smoke coming from the back yard. We ran to the yard I grabbed a hose and started to put out the fire, and then I told mike and Kenny to go find some more hoses to help.  We were battling the fire until you showed up with the real thing. We had the fire mostly under control by the time you showed up anyway. He looked at me and asked if I knew anything about the fireworks on the lawn, I told him no sir like I said we were playing ball, it must have been those other kids that ran off after they started the fire. What other kids? Well there had to be, I reasoned as we did not do it and it was going when we got there so there must have been someone else, we just put it out. This whole time the others just sat there listening to my story quietly when the Chief turned to Kenny and asked him “was this the way it happened son” as if he knew Kenny was the weenie the one to rat us out.  All of our eyes were on him as if anyone was going to crack it was going to be Kenny he was a pansy his mom did it to him by all of his check INS.  Kenny looked at us staring at him with the eyes of death that told him to man up if he ever wants to run with the musketeers’ again,  Kenny looked back at the chief but not back at him he looked him square in the eye and said without cracking a smile or a grin,  “yes sir that is exactly how it happened” and then he did the most amazing thing he did not look away he kept staring at the chief right in the eyes for about two or three seconds until the chief looked away.  Sometimes your friends or your children will do the most amazing things and rise to the occasion to show you their finest traits at the right time. This was one of those times and we would always remember Kenny and how he manned up.  The chief stood up and turned around then he turned back to us and said we could go home, to have a safe 4th of July.  We took our baseball gear and went across the street to watch the fireman clean up our mess. After they had left we went to survey the damage and to retrieve my hoes, well we did a pretty good job on the yard 2 200 ft old growth Douglas fir trees were now burnt tooth picks the branches of some had broken off and fallen into a pond the Winjum’s had just put in she raised these imported turtles little cute things.  Well the branches had choked the pond and cooked the turtles we made turtle soup. We also blew holes into the grass in about 8 places 18 inches in dia 8 inches deep, and we burn the grass half way up to the house.

Later that night I told my dad what had happened he was glad that I fesses up and told him the truth, and two we worked out some guidelines for the fireworks.  The next Saturday morning my mom and dad were home, I had just finished lifting off an m-80 and a rocket with mike, when up rolled the fire marshal in the wagon, both mike and I stared at each other in horror. We thought we were busted for sure.  He came up to mike and I and asked if I was Paul and mike we told him yes, he asked us to go get our parents, mike went to get his and I got my dad who looked as nervous as I did when I told him the fire marshal wanted to see him. He came out

And as soon as mikes dad Phil showed up the fireman made this speech the city of Fircrest would like to thank Paul and mike for their quick work in putting out the fire on June 30 they saved countless trees and possibly lives and houses if it was allowed to spread without quick action.  Therefore the firefighters of the city want to extend to them rank of horary firemen in the city of Fircrest.  And present them with these plackes naming their deeds and efforts.

We just about fell over horary firemen we started the fire.  But I guess we did put it out as well, my dad said thank you very much to the fireman and shook their hands.  When they left up the road to give the plake to Kenny we breathed a sigh of relief and looked at each other in disbelief


Winter in the northwest

It was december and we were home for winter break, we just received about a foot of snow maybe 8 inches but a lot anyway mike and kenny were over and inside warming up after we we played outside. I am not sure which one of us started it but one of us got a snowball from our deck and hit me upside the head. It was on from there i went out and got a ball and threw it toward mike i missed him and hit the wall, kenny was next he brought in a ball and tried to hit me i ducked behind the counter and it hit the oven  then the malay was on, balls flying everywhere it lasted a good 5 min.  When we were done we looked around and went crap there was snow all over the place. I said we had to clean this up before it melted or we were all in deep kimchi we got a dustpan and scooped up the snow we filled 3 5 gal buckets and poured it on the deck.

Next we cleaned with paper towels drying off anything that was wet we thought we did a pretty good job as when my parents got home my mom commenter that the room and kitchen looked clean.

That same winter we got into a cold snap after the last snow fall all melted,  

This was a bonafide cold snap we're talkin highs of 25 deg and lows in the single digits. But no snow so we could not sled,  now these sleds were old school radio flier the had runners and you could stere them.  But the needed ice to sled on. So we thought about it and decided to make our own.  

We got the garden hoses from each of our houses and 2 sprinklers the rainbird ones the spray very far.  You see there was a hill in our neighborhood that was newly paved the summer before this was the upper level to our new area. They had just finished building 2 houses on the top of the street on on each side of the road no one had moved in yet but they were all finished.

Our plan was to put sprinklers on each side of the street down the hill and water the hill

So we set it up on a saturday afternoon and no one bothered to stop us and ask why we were running 200 ft of hose  down each side of the street they just drove on buy.

We set up the impact sprinklers about 20 feet apart down the hill each one hooked to the last one. We all decided to meet at 10 o'clock to turn on the hoses.  And we did it was about 10 degrees and we lit them off and went home. Now a few things happened 1 we live in a quiet neighbor hood as no one had turned off the hoses all night. The other thing is we had set them to rotate in a complete circle all night long.  We all raced up to the hill with our sleds in anticipation of the most glorious day of sledding.  When we got there the trees had icicles hanging off of them and it looked like a page from the enchanted forest ice everywhere the sprinkler touched. And the road, the road, the hill had 75 yards of ¼ inch thick ice it was perfect for sledding we did not care about the 3 cars on the side of the road unable to move up the hill


We started sledding and it was fantastic  we were like the bobsled teams in the olympics we spent most of the day and into the night sledding on our hill.  then came monday morning and we went to sled and there was a sand and ice truck ruining our perfect hill so people could use it.  




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