OK, Danny - you jogged a couple more memories for me...
About the 49 Mercury I totaled - I was on the way home from Dad's office. It was during rush hour, about 4:30 or 5:00pm. I was having trouble staying awake. I was on 6th Ave. heading west and approaching Wadsworth (before they built the overpass there). I got into the left turn lane - and was doing about 25-30 mph. All of a sudden, I notice. " I'm not going to stop in time before I hit that small truck in front of me with lumber sticking out of the back end!" Then "wham" - I hit this truck in the rear end. For some unknown reason, I opened the driver's side door just before impact - and STEPPED OUT OF THE CAR! When I looked back at the car, the front end was pretty well smashed in - and the lumber had gone through the front windshield - OVER THE STEERING WHEEL AND OUT THE REAR WINDSHIELD! When the driver of the truck came back to see what had happened - he asked me, "Where is the driver?" I told him - "That would be me - I'm really sorry!" The driver just looked at me and then at the car - and said, "Why aren't you still in the car? You should be DEAD - or seriously injured!" I simply replied, "I don't know!" To make matters worse - Dad was about 5 cars behind me in the left turn lane - and eventually got out of his car to see what the big "holdup" was with traffic in the left turn lane. When he saw me and the 49 Mercury - he said, "looks like that car's history! When you get finished talking to the police, get back into my car. We're gonna have a little talk!" Oh boy, I was really nervous then! Well, the story I gave to the police was the brakes failed on me - and I couldn't stop in time. When I got back into Dad's car, he asked - "Now what in the heck happened?" I told Dad I had told the police that the brakes had failed - but the real story was that I had fallen asleep at the wheel. Dad was definitely not happy about that. For punishment, I think Dad thought the experience was punishment enough for me. All I remember after that was that Dad had to hire Jim Little (?) an attorney friend of the family - who defended me in court about a month later somewhere in Lakewood. I had received a ticket for reckless driving I think - can't remember that too well. Can't remember if I was found guilty or not either. All I remember - is what Danny said - "The 49 Mercury was totaled!" - (and I was pretty lucky to not have been killed!)
Hey - I never remember hearing the story about Dicky running away while Mom & Dad were in Hawaii - and that Opal thought she would lose her job. That's a good one!
But there was a time when I ran away - I was 16. Any of you guys remember that? Danny - you were 6 years old then. Kenny - what, about 8 years old? Mom was in the hospital giving birth to Peggy. Dad was on his way home from a meeting in Chicago. Does anyone remember that incident? All I can remember is that some guy at the greenhouse - can't remember his name. He drove a closed cab jeep of some sort. Said he'd help me run away. We got as far as Evergreen - and he let me out there. I can't remember too well what happened after that. I remember John Wiebenson (Dad Wiebenson) got wind of what had happened and he drove to Evergreen to pick me up about three hours after I had left Junglewood. All I can remember is that I was really upset with Dad about something.- and that's why I decided to run away. Dad returned later that night to get the good news... I don't know what happened after that other than Dad told me he was especially upset that I would wait until Mom was in the hospital having a baby to do something like that. I can't remember how that situation ever was resolved with Mom & Dad, though. Maybe Patsy or Billy can fill in the details on this one.
This is a response to Pete's reference to a new pump that was installed down in the pipe shop around 1966... Pete, your recollection on this is interesting, because I really didn't recall all of the bad language until now. I recall it this way and it's not a terribly exciting story, but I remember having a great time assisting this guy in replacing 600' plus 50 more feet of additional depth of 1.5" steel pipe plus a new 10' pump that hung on the bottom of all this pipe. The weight factor of the mess must have been ungodly and this all hung from a cement support at the surface. The part where you heard this guy let out a string of cuss words was when he 'thought' he dropped his pipe wrench down the shaft - 650'! After he let out a string of cuss words, and I have to say he put them together quite well, I remember he quickly put his ear to the pipe that we had installed thus far to see if he could hear any rumblings.. it all turned out for not. His wrench was right behind him the whole time. What a good memory though, because this guy provided full time entertainment for 2 days. He was funny!
By the way, Pete and I took the 6' solid steel shaft out of that old pump, threaded it and created the chin up bar that became somewhat of a land mark on the north side of our (Mom and Dad's) house right where the original rope pole was. This bar has followed me to all three of the houses that Jan and I have lived in... and now you know the rest of the story. This is Paul Harvey... good day!
Wait - I thought the "rest of the story" would reveal the well pump guy's name. Pete, please, what's the guy's name? It's on the tip of my tongue..., ..., Tell me quick..., I can't stand it!
Speaking of Ed Bacon, I heard a story about him only recently - shortly after the OK City bombing...was it you Danny, or you Dicky?
Ed would often tease you guys that he knew how to manufacture an incredible bomb just with the materials around Junglewood. But he would never tell you. You just thought he was being weird Ed again. Thank goodness he didn't tell you about the explosive power of ammonium nitrate or I'm sure we'd have blown up Junglewood long before its time!!
Then there was the famous fourth of July when two or three younger brothers lit the whole back hill on fire and the fire department had to come and put it out.
Who wants to relate the story of the JUNGLEWOOD painting project on the girl's school tower???
The only Sams brothers I remember were John
(Benjie's age) and Ted (about Jim's age).
Jim Ridgeway's girlfriend was Shirley Pascal, why do I remember that??
There was the time, when I was still quite young and very fascinated with the way chickens were slaughtered by having their heads chopped off, that I witnessed Uncle Chuck outside the back kitchen of big house dispatch a chicken by grabbing hold of its head and whirlwinding it in a full 360 degrees and then snapping it off at the end. I was so scared I don't think I came near him for weeks!!!
Albert and Shorty: All I remember about them is the gum Jimmy talked about and the fact that one of them had the habit of simply swallowing the stub of his cigarette when it got too short to smoke!!
Benj, the name of the fellow who parked his car at the east end of the barn under that little overhang was Harry the gardener - who took care of Maudie and Ben's garden and lawn when they still lived at the big house. I would often go over at lunchtime when he would eat in his car and I would stand on the running board and talk to him through the front window!
Whoops, Tommy told a story with Chuck in it.... it's time to add a few more Haley descendants. I'm sure the Colorado Springs contingent has some good stuff to tell. Don't ask how this got started, just relay one, two or ten of favorite memories. If somebody tells a story with a new person/relation, then we have another "whoops" and we need to add 'em on to the list. Peter and I have discussed building a "virtual Junglewood" map. Our initial intention was to have these Junglewood stories "pop up" as you float your (mouse) cursor across a map of Junglewood. We'll see how that goes. By the way Ken is already compiling these stories into a word document. This should help remove some of the frustration of this e-mail memo being passed on and on and on........ We already killed Tommy's computer! As you read some of these stories, you'll see they aren't all Junglewood related and that's OK! Having said that.... Tim, would you mind telling your version of the story when we appeared to be trying to derail a train behind your house over on Columbus St.- it was about 1959 and I spent the night? I'm sure you remember it well. All I can say is Chuck gives a spanking very much like Dad's.
Anybody... please add Joanie if you have her e-mail address and Chris too. I'll add Carla and Johnny.
OK, I've been busy compiling all this into a Word document--not leaving much time to add things myself. When the storm of stories dies down a little, I'll send everyone a copy of what I've got so far. So, don't worry about maintaining the chain.
Anyway, here's my memory of some of this...
Danny's recollection of the car backing over my foot was close, but (I'm embarrassed to say) true. I remember being amazed that it hurt! (duh!) I expected it to just be a heavy pressure—I really only had my toes under the tire. And I remember not being able to pull my foot out. I had to wait for Mom to go ahead and finish backing up. Anyway, no permanent damage—but I don't recommend trying it.
Dick running away: Yes! I remember it well--actually, he didn't go far--he hid in the crawl space under the closet of his bedroom. I remember suppressing my laughter as I'd hear Opal call out "Dick, honey! Please come home! I'm sorry for whatever I did!" Then in a quiet voice, "When I get my hands on you, I'm gonna beat the livin' #&^@ out of you, you little #&^$#!" The funniest part was, Dick, from his hiding place could hear it, too.
We were little #&^$# 's ! One time, we carefully set nails under all 4 of her tires. She got about to the end of the lane before she noticed all tires were flat. Boy, did we catch hell for that.
Remember the big railroad bell outside the back door? This was a BIG bell that Opal used to ring it when it was time for dinner. Once we carefully taped two entire rolls of caps to the inside of that bell where the ringer would strike it, and waited in hiding for her to come out and ring it. Instead of the familiar CLANGGGG, CLANGGGG, CLANGGGG. It went MFFF... MFFF... then POWW!!! ..NGG!! POWW!! NGG!!!...We spent the next couple of days grounded--again.
This story's probably one of the most often told about Mom: When we were still pretty young, she'd usually take several of us kids with her on her trips to the grocery store. And, many times we'd wander off--getting lost sometimes, and scared. But she'd always manage to round us all up when it was time to go home. Except once. Tommy had wandered off one time when there were 4 or 5 of us with her. And, for whatever reason, Mom (nor any of us) missed him when it came time to go home. During dinner, the phone rang, and Mom answered. It was the Safeway manager, asking if any of her kids were missing.
"No," she said, "they're all here."
"Really? Even Tommy?" came the reply.
She checked, and then "Oh no! Let me talk to him."
I don't know who felt worse—Tommy, or Mom. For months, they teased her at Safeway, "She not only forgets 'em--she disowns 'em!" (I can still hear Mom telling this story.)
Speaking of Opal - I remember one time I was really mad at her for something..., maybe she locked us out of the house again or ???. So I re-arranged the spark plug wires on her old red Valiant. Two weeks later she had a new car!
Hey Dick... be careful with the Opal stories. I have reason to believe her ghost is roaming around were somewhere.... there’s still a few unsettled matters that need closure before it will move on and I know the spark plug issue was one of them. Here’s a method you might want to use on any subsequent Opal stories... (example) I remember how Opal could never quite keep enough air in her tires. I know for a fact that they were running a little low that same week before she showed up with that new car you mentioned.
Thanks for refreshing my memory on this one. Yes - now I remember his name was Harry... but I had completely forgotten his job at Junglewood. Sounds like you knew him better than I ever did - talking to him in his car during his lunch. Thanks!
By the way - does anyone remember the muscle-built guy who used to help Dad a lot outside? He liked to show off the muscles in his arm all the time - and loved swinging the sledgehammer a lot to break up cement blocks (wherever they came from, I can't remember)... And then there was the carpenter who helped build the bedroom additions with Dad - probably around 1950-53. Who was he?
You just jogged my memory about Billy and his steers he was raising as part of a 4H project, I think. Bill - if you are getting these emails - what is your version of the time when Dad had agreed to board 2 champion bull dogs, and they got out of their wire pens in back of our house - and attacked the steers?
All I can remember is that we were all sitting down to dinner on a quiet summer evening, when we heard those steers start to "moo" and "yell out" really loudly! We all knew immediately that something was wrong. When we got outside, we could see that the 2 bull dogs were attacking the steers. One of the dogs was being swung around in a circle by a steer, because the bull dog had a hold of its ear and wouldn't let go. It was quite a frightful sight! All I can remember after that is that Dad was furious - and we managed to catch the bull dogs and I remember Dad just "hauling" one of them by the collar - almost completely off the ground back to the dog cage. I'm sure many of you must remember that incident - as we were all quite traumatized by it...Billy - I believe you were more upset than anyone else was about this, as they were "your" steers! It took Mom about 2-3 hours to get you calmed back down over this whole thing. The only other thing I remember is that Dad said, "I don't care if they are champion bull dogs. They're not staying around here any longer!" How long they did last – I can't recall.
[in response to Jim’s concerns about the long mail chain being truncated…] Trust me.. Kenny is dealing with this just fine. What we need from you is that great story when Dad caught you smoking for the first time.
OK, I don't know how you knew about this, but here's the story. I didn't think I told anybody because I was so mortified. I was 16 or so, and I was working down at Denver Wholesale Florist. It was shortly after I got my Vespa motor scooter when I started smoking. After a month or two, I was feeling pretty comfortable with all of the guys working there, and so I started smoking with them. One day, I had my arms full of carnations carrying them to a bucket of water. There was a cigarette hanging out of my mouth (ugh!), and when I rounded the corner, I bumped smack into Dad who was on his way to lunch. I couldn't take the cigarette out of my mouth because of the flowers. I think Dad and I were both so mortified, neither of us said a word. That had to have been one of the most embarrassing moments in my entire life.