Saturday, June 6

Look Out

One of the better pals I ever had in Hazard was only in town for a couple of years. His first name was Wallace and I have been racking my brain trying to remember his last name. But to no avail. We were around 12 years old and we hit it off right away. We, both, had the same mentality, which was to get out and run every day, having a good time, taking chances and pushing the envelope. We rode our bicycles, swam in the Kentucky River, played marbles, explored down town and whatever other impulse we might get. We were also great movie fans and we saw them all. Tarzan, Tex Ritter, Zorro, The Durango Kid, John Wayne, and The Dead End Kids. Around that time the Family Theatre began the famous Midnight Show on Saturday nights. Which, if I remember correctly, started at 11:30 pm. Usually a double feature of Frankenstein, Wolf Man, Dracula, and other black & white monster movies. Well, it was something to do. Sometimes it was scary. But sometimes we just had a hard time staying awake. Now Wallace was very impressionable. For Instance, during a movie if the good guy or gal was in danger of getting run over by a truck, the hero would dash out into the street and knock the innocents out of the way, saving their lives while risking his own. We saw this happen many times with many different versions. Wallace loved that. So much that he would often practice his move on me, lacking a real damsel in distress. I don't know how many times he would run up behind me and yell "LOOK OUT", knocking me down or grabbing me and rolling down a hill. Usually messing up our clothes or skinning our elbows. Well it all came to a climax early one Sunday morning going home from the midnight show. Discussing the events of the night with two of the other guys I hear this terrible scream. Instinctively turning around I was bulldozed by this raving maniac like a fullback hitting the middle of the line. The collision drove me into the hedge by the side of the street. Pulling Wallace with me we both went over and through the hedge and falling further down in the total darkness. Apparently some one was doing a little excavating there and we fell into a hole about six feet deep. It had, at least, two feet of black dirty mud at the bottom which smelled a lot like dead fish. When we finally got our bearings, we climbed out of the pit and sat down on the curb. We were a mess. Both covered with slime including Wallace's face. Both scratched up here and there. After a while when we were breathing normal again and assured that there were no broken bones I looked over at Wallace and said, "Thanks a lot, Wallace, for saving my life." We laughed all the way home.

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