It seems these days it takes a lot longer to remember the things that happened years ago.
I don’t know if me being sick a month or so ago caused me to slow down even more, but I do know I ain’t over it yet. Maybe I can blame all my present trouble on still being a little bit sick and feeling bad. Reckon?
And it sure is a lot harder to piece together what little I can finally remember. I can recall those good old days of living here and going to school and our teachers and many, many of the students, but my trouble is putting together a story of those times I think would fit into the News-Herald and even cause you to recall the same kind of days you had growing up here.
I don’t believe I’d ever run out of stuff about Bob Smith, the Monger boys who lived a couple of houses out West Broadway or the Gossage boys over on east side. In fact, I believe I’ll just tell you another one about Bob.
It was about this time of year as the weather was getting cooler when Bob asked me to help him build a “log cabin” around the railroad tracks back of his house. We and JW Monger met one morning, I guess when school was on fall break, maybe Thanksgiving time.
We decided to go through the grown-up area along the railroad tracks and look for usable trees to build our cabin. I took a cross-cut saw of daddy’s from our barn, even knowing I would probably get a whipping if daddy caught me with it, and we sneaked across Broadway down to the railroad. JW went through the woods picking out the trees he thought we could best use. Bob and I followed using the saw to scratch the bark to mark it for cutting later.
Within a few days we went back with the saw and began cutting down the ones we had marked. We got 10 or 12 cut and we went back through cutting them into about 12-foot lengths. Then we showed our pure ignorance as we began to drag these logs to the spot we had chosen to build our cabin. It took all we could muster to drag these 12-foot logs through the woods to our cabin site, but we somehow “got ‘er done.”
We started using daddy’s ax and his sledge hammer to drive it into the ends of the logs to make a nearly flat surface to join the logs at the corners of the cabin. Using big, long nails we found in a tow-sack in Bob’s daddy’s barn, we fastened the ends of the logs into corners of the cabin.
Then we ran into a killer of a problem.
None of us knew how to put the roof on. We tried a few approaches, but they didn’t seem to work for one reason or another. After several bad starts, we abandoned all hope and left it standing unfinished.
Over a period of time, I guess every lady and many of the men in our westside neighborhood asked us if we knew anything about where that funny looking building down along the railroad came from. We couldn’t lie about it; we had to tell the truth. When we got to the point of telling we didn’t know how to put the roof on it, they laughed their hardest.
Bob and I got the idea the word had spread and these folks already knew that crummy looking thing sitting in the woods along the railroad tracks was all that was left of a big-time mess-up we boys did because we didn’t know any better. We really bit off a lot more than we could chew.
Oh well, that’s just the way it is sometimes. I don’t believe I’d change one single day of my growing up here in good old Lenoir City.