Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fort Hemlock

When I was four years old, we moved from the suburbs of Burke to the big city of Wallace. We did not initially buy the house on Cedar Street, but instead we rented a house on a street that no longer exists, Hemlock Street. Hemlock was about where the Wallace Inn laundry room is today. It dead ended at what was then the main highway, Hwy 10.There were only six houses on Hemlock Street when we moved there, and at the end of the street where it met HWY10, there were about three steps that went up to the sidewalk. At the bottom of those stairs was a perfect place to build a snow fort.

I was only a kindergarten pup, but big brother was three years my senior, and his friend was about a year older than my brother was. It was a great fort that they built, and in that fort was an arsenal of snow balls that we had spent hours packing with snow and a little bit of ice. Now, what we we going to throw those snow ball at? Trucks , of course, that came along Hwy 10. We never threw at the cabs, but only at the trailer.

I, being of little arms and lousy aim, never hit anything, but Leon and Craig had already developed good pitching technique, and they hit their targets with accuracy and they hit them frequently.
Now, I, only being  tot, mostly watched the "big boys" practice their snow ball throwing craft, and on this particular very cold Wallace winter day, I was just being a spectator. I was always afraid that someday we would get in trouble ,or worse, get clobbered by some angry trucker for hitting his truck.
I had that sense of foreboding that day, and so, I was on " run as fast as you can" mode.

I don't remember who threw that snowball. All that I know was that I did not throw it. The semi came into view, and the snowball flew though the air like a Nolan Ryan fastball. Plunk, it hit something, but wait a minute, it wasn't the truck that it hit, nope, that would have been fine. Instead, it landed like a perfectly placed pitch smack against the windshield of the police care behind the truck.

Well, legs don't fail me now, I said to my shaking limbs, and off I ran as fast as I could go. My brother and his friend, being older and wiser that I was, did  not run, of course, the cop did not chase them.Yes, it was me he was chasing. I had just committed the crime of eluding a police officer.
I ran as fast as my kindergarten legs would carry me, straight in our back door, and up the stairs to my bedroom. Of course, I was not savvy enough to realize that officer only had to see which house that I went in.

My heart was beating what seemed like a thousand beats a minute when I heard my dad's voice calling me. " Son, come down here. Someone wants to see you."
By now, the tears were rolling down my cheeks , and my whole body was shaking. I was so sure, probably from having watched too much "Dragnet", that I was going to be hauled off to jail. Perhaps a diet of bread and water was in the making.

Well, I entered the living room, and there was the officer, and my folks, as well as my brother. The officer told me that the older boys had already told him that I was not the one who threw the snowball. He then proceeded to lecture my brother and I on how such a stunt could cause an accident, perhaps even leading to serious injury for the driver. He then looked sternly at me and told me to never run from a police officer,and that he , at first, thought that I was the guilty one because I had run. He then left, and that was the end of it. Well, almost. There was  of course, the visit to our room by my dad, and the lecture of how this was going to hurt him worse than if would us. Yea, right.

The next day, Fort Hemlock was  torn down, never to rise again. Now, did I learn my lesson? Well, stay tuned for the time that we were playing baseball at the intersection of Third and Bank, and a policeman pulled up,and , yep, you guessed it. Story at 11:00

3 comments:

Go Figure said...

Yep, now that was a fine piece of police deduction...now there are, and I have known, many fine policemen so hopefully my remarks will not be misconstrued...Anyone can readily see how and why the 'ossafa' (as some of the kids I knew from up King Street called one particular policeman in 'the city') the kindergarten kid was initially identified as the 'perp'. The 'ossafa' was right, you should not have run...On the other hand, based upon his remarkable deductive thinking, you no doubt would have been handcuffed at the scene if you hadn't run.

Cedar Street Kid said...

Yes, we had one officer who bore an uncanny resemblance to Barney Fife.

Go Figure said...

Ha! I remember that one well!