Thursday, August 8, 2019



  Just like the Waltons on TV, we had seven kids and practically lived with our grandparents who lived across the road when I was very young. We lived next to a country store with a small post office inside and my grandfather and father owned a sawmill when I was very young. I was the "John Boy" of my family - a writer and the first to go to college.

That's me on the left eating a roasted marshmallow on a stick. The woods and farms all around us were our playground.  Some of the boys around Rhodelia and Mooleyville met up on Sunday afternoons. 
We thought nothing of building a fire in the woods. 

We would swim in ponds very much like this, with cows standing in the same water! We must have had one hell of an immune system! Kids today would die of some bacterial infection that no antibiotic could stop!

No diving boards at our swimming holes. We would swing from a rope or a wild grape vine. 

That's me on a horse belonging to my cousin, "Bud" Ray (now Father Bob Ray). 
To save money, we always bought blue jeans too long for us. Notice the cuffs on my blue jeans. We would roll them up when they were new and then roll them down as we grew to fit them.  

We were especially fond of camping under rock ledges and damming up creeks. 

There was an old log cabin, much like this one, in the woods near us that we called "the old turkey house." I can still remember dreaming about  renovating it as our "hideout" in the woods. 
I have renovated five houses in my adult life, not to mention the renovations I did at the Cathedral, Saint Meinrad Seminary and now in the island missions. My passion for "renovation projects" evidently started in childhood.  

I especially remember building "Fort Apache" out of what was left of an old rail fence in the woods near our house. Mine was, of course, much bigger and more complex than this miserable example of a fort. Mine had small cabins on each corner of a fenced in square. 
It was the beginnings of a script that I have followed all my life. "Anything worth doing is worth over-doing!" 

No comments:

Post a Comment