Another event occurred a year later when I was about to celebrate my 9th birthday. At that time, we lived out in the country just north of Biloxi. These were great times for kids my age. Parents didn't worry about people coming by and kidnapping their kids. So, we were able to do as we wished as long as we came home at the time we were told. Summer vacation was about to end and two events were coming up; my 9th birthday and the start of my 4th grade year.
I have always dreaded my birthdays, even then because I knew school was about to start in September. So, myself and a friend of mine named Ronnie, decided to take one last bicycle trip. This usually meant about a two mile cycling trip on one of the few paved roads in our area. This trip would be different in that Ronnie's brother, Bill, would accompany us. Neither one of us were happy about him coming along since we had to peddle slower so Bill could keep up. If Bill couldn't come, then Ronnie could not go on the bicycling trip. So, off all three of us went on our last fun-filled bicycle trip of the summer. Only two of us would come back alive.
We made the two-mile trip about 30 minutes later than usual due to Bill. Ronnie was really upset with his brother. He was yelling at him, threatening him and so on. I finally told Ronnie to just cool down. What's done is done. Bill is with us and we have to make do. For his part, Bill said nothing to his irate brother. Our destination, as always, was the waterfall. This "waterfall" was about six or seven feet high. It fed into a creek that went by near my house, some 150 feet or so. It was lots of fun there. The creek, at that point, was only about 4 feet deep. But, it was always cold, even in the hottest days of summer. It was lots of fun frolicking around in the cold water. Ronnie had dunked me and I was about to return the favor when I noticed Bill was missing. "Bill!!!," I yelled. Ronnie was upset now. We both yelled about two more times when we saw Bill at the top of the waterfall smiling. I also saw a man with blonde hair, in a tan-colored shirt and black pants directly behind Bill. Panicked, I told Ronnie we had to go get Bill, there is a man up there. Ronnie looked at me as if I had lost my mind. "It's only Bill. What are you talking about, David. It's not funny," said Ronnie. I started running up there and so did Ronnie. Bill was still looking at me with that odd smile on his face. The man was still there. "Who are you?" I asked the man. He only looked at me with an expressionless face. No movement, no blinking of his eyes, no nothing. Now, both Bill and Ronnie looked at me as if I had completely lost it. "David, this isn't funny. Stop it!!!!," said Ronnie. As Ronnie stepped toward Bill, he must have stepped on one of the many slippery, flat rocks in the creek. Ronnie lost his balance and fell over the waterfall into the creek below. Both Bill and I roared with laughter. Neither one of us thought for a minute that Ronnie had hurt himself.
But, Ronnie had hurt himself. When we got down from the top of the waterfall to the creek below, Ronnie was face-down in the water. I pulled him up and discovered he was not breathing. He also had blood pouring from the left side of his head. I screamed at Bill to go get help at the Holloway residence, about a half-mile from us. Bill took off on his bike, crying as hard as he could. I lifted Ronnie up, and got him in a sitting position. This got him to breathing again. I had two blue towels that I had brought with me. Both were blood red quickly as I tried wrapping them around Ronnie's head. As I was doing this, I noticed the blonde haired man in tan shirt was only about 10 feet away from us. "Why don't you help me???," I asked frantically. He, once again, just stared motionless at me. I was only nine-years old. But, I knew some choice words and I used them against this man. It had no effect on him. Finally, the man did make a move. He looked to his left, looked back at me and disappeared into the forest. Almost immediately, Bill and Mr. Holloway showed up in his pickup truck. We took Ronnie to the hospital with Ronnie bleeding all over us. Ronnie stopped breathing as soon as we got to the hospital. None of the doctors could revive him. A fractured skull usually meant death in 1960. Plus, Ronnie had lost a lot of blood. It was a miracle he lasted as long as he did.
I know how all this sounds. The bald man at the park, the blonde haired man in tan shirt at the waterfall, as grim reapers, is a bit too difficult to believe. But, someone or something showed up at traumatic events where death was a factor in my youth. As I said this happened five or six times in my life. I can't say specifically it was five or if it was six since the last time I recall this happening was when I was 14 years old (which will be for another post). But, this did happen and the memory of each event sticks with me at my advanced age.
That includes the man in the closet as well.
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9/30/2013 06:38:00 AM David Weldy No comments