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Where we might ought not to have been

We didn’t often venture too far from home way back yonder, ‘cept maybe walking over to Indian Mounds, Back Bone Ridge and the like as I wrote last week. I got a call from my good friend, Joe Lewis, Friday, and we commenced to talk about some stuff, including, for no particular reason, Bradford’s Pond in South Marengo. I just decided to write a little something this week about Bradford’s Pond and a few other places that we might ought not to have visited back in days gone bye.

There is one funny story that I mentioned to Joe that I never wrote about, but, what the heck, that’s been well over fifty years ago. Anyhow, a bunch of boys and girls traveled down to that pond for a day on the water, and they had a dressing room and everything, with the boy’s and the girl’s side being separated by old creaky boards. Well, sir, right in the midst of putting on my bathing suit, I spied a knot hole opening on the other side. I grabbed a quick peek, and what do you know….there was an eyeball looking back at me.

Fast forward to around 1957. There was a honky tonk at Bradford’s Pond. Moose and I motored down, and as I walked in that dance hall on the water a beer bottle splatted on a post right next to my head. I looked back to see if Moose was backing me up. Yep, there he was, running hard as he could back to the car, immediately joined by yours truly, and that was the story of that visit.

Green Gables out there east of Demopolis was no place for a couple of 17-year-old boys to visit, but visit there Moose and I did. Lo and behold there was a fellow whupping up on a lady. I didn’t know that was his wife, so I intervened, only to be met with a vicious slash of a knife that cut my precious football letter jacket. A bunch of fellows rushed in to subdue that knife wielder and wife beater. Before I grabbed Moose and exited that taboo place I threw a right fist to that fellow’s jaw, and hauled britches.

That’s the least he deserved for his foul deeds. Never did meet up with that drunk again. .

Frank Aydelott and I were on the streets of New York late one night during our senior trip. As we crossed the street, a fellow approached us. Being country boys we figured he was just being friendly, but didn’t take us long to realize he was up to no good. We ducked into a coffee shop although neither of us were coffee drinkers. We sat on bar stools, paid our dimes for coffee, after which the burly owner of that place leaned over the bar, and said, “We’re getting ready to close. If you are of a mind to tip me, I’d appreciate it if you’d do it now.” Shoot, I didn’t know you tipped for a ten cent cup of coffee, but Frank and I each pulled out several coins, laid ‘em on the bar, left that coffee where it was, and hightailed it out of those parts where we recognized we ought not to be.

Alice and I used to enjoy going to the home Alabama games, but without fail, when we got into that Tuscaloosa traffic, I’d start to say something, and the wife finished the sentence for me. “But you had rather be driving down Makuha Road on the way up to your cow barn where the only thing you have to worry about dodging is a rabbit.” Yep, that’s what I would say alright, and although we miss the excitement of Bryant-Denny Stadium, you know what? That television bunch is not about to miss having the Crimson Tide on the tube, and although that stadium, once the traffic is conquered, is a fine place to visit, this old man does appreciate not even having to dodge a rabbit when I get up during a commercial, and make a few steps to the good old bathroom. Roll on, Folks.

— Tom Boggs is a columnist for the Demopolis Times and a native of Marengo County. His column,“Days Gone Bye,” appears weekly.

(This column originally appeared in the Wednesday, October 30 issue of the Demopolis Times.)