Chapter 5 

Pete 4:


Didn't we also drop the first pole on your heel trying to set it? Maybe I'm confusing it with one of the other times you had something in a cast. I remember you talking about what the doctor said about how he was going to have to reshape the heel bone, which was shattered, but that it was fairly routine and you'd be in good shape in no time.

Here's one that is etched in my memory. See if you or Danny recall it:

The time was Christmas Day, maybe 1966 or 67. It was early afternoon and all the presents had been opened and spread around the living room. That year all the boys in the family received new shirts from your mom. The shirts all came from the same place, The Denver I think. They all came in similar boxes and instead of having ribbons around the boxes there were big rubber bands of different colors stretched over opposing corners of the boxes. The rubber bands were flying around and at some point someone got the idea to tie them all together and see just how far they would stretch. Each of these bands, unstretched were about 12" long, but could easily stretch out to three to four feet. Once they were all connected Danny got on one end and I got on the other. Danny started to back into the back bedroom while I started into the dinning room. Danny bumped into the bed and had to move around it. I had to hold my end up to clear everything on the table.

Finally Danny had his end to the wall in the bedroom and I was backed up against the north windows. I remember seeing Danny's hand and face looking at me down the tightly stretched rubber bands. I recall thinking "Wow, this thing is really tight." Suddenly, in the kitchen, a hand (Dicky's) holding a pair of scissors reached out and cut the rubber bands right in the middle. Everything went into slow motion. The recoil of the rubber bands snapping back towards the holders was amazing. It was coiling up and headed straight towards me. In my mind it took a long time for it to get to me but I'm sure that it was only a fraction of a second. The point of impact was on my right cheek and neck. The resultant near fatal welt took most of the day to stop stinging and days before it went away.

To clear up a previous note. The time I shot my BB gun and nearly put out my own eye, I was not shooting at the green light pole but the tree on the north end of the clothes line on the big lawn. That was another time when it was slow motion. I cold see the BB coming straight back at me. Luckily, I closed my eye just before the BB shattered my left lens. Another time when the Guardian Angle of Junglewood was working overtime.

That's all for now.

Dan 10:

Pete, I remember the story that you told about Dick cutting the giant rubber band that you and I were trying to see how far we could stretch one Christmas. As you mentioned, it sent both of us tumbling backwards with massive welts all over our bodies.... and the thing that's interesting is Dick wonders about things like... why I had Georgie Woods throw him into the pine tree and to this day he still thinks the pole slipped out of that hole giving him two Charlie horses. You wouldn't know this, but it's tough being an older brother.

Patsy 1:

[in response to an earlier thread about Mike and Max, the boxers…]:

They were boxers and came to us by way of Fred Struby who had recently lost his boxer named Chief. He hoped that life on the farm would calm his prize dogs and then they could go back to the city. I know Dad was not happy to have them and wasn't too sad when he had an excuse to give them back.

Jim 3:

Here's a story that probably none of you know about.

Mullen High School is located on Hampden at Lowell streets in Ft. Logan. It is there today. It was originally founded by the Christian Brothers as Mullen Home for Boys -- it was an orphanage. They didn't have a lot of resources and depended largely on charitable contributions from the community. In the early 50's, they expanded their function to operate as an all-boys high school in the Denver parochial school system. The student body classified itself as "Boarders" and "Day Dogs".

It was in the Spring of 1959 when I was a Junior Day Dog at Mullen. The school's Administration was interested in starting up a Tennis Team. Having been recently introduced to the sport, I was interested in participating.

Some of you will remember how the Junglewood tennis court had been restored with a new surface, net, striping, and night lights in the mid 50's. Well, Dad allowed me to volunteer the use of the facility to Mullen for our newly-created Tennis Team. I believe the whole team (maybe ten or twelve players initially) came to Junglewood for practice maybe three or four times before we finally found a municipal court that could accommodate more than a single match at one time. I remember being so proud that Junglewood could contribute so significantly to my school.

I always felt that I had a psychological advantage over the other team members because I had a court in my back yard, And they all seemed to EXPECT me to be better than the rest -- even the COACH! (Ever heard that saying "You are what you think others think you are."?) As it turned out, I was able to stay in the top three positions on the team for the whole time we did it. (OK, the others were new to the sport.)

Anyway -- Thanks to Dad and to Junglewood for such a neat memory!

Carla 1:

Hi, Guys!

I haven’t had time to add my own recollections of Junglewood, but have been followed all the stories with gusto! I am adding my sister Mary on, however. Being younger and therefore perhaps of sounder memory, I figured she would really have the goods on what was going on! (Some of you probably didn’t recognize "Grandmary" as the once—and only—Mary Christmas Wiebenson!)

Cheers—and more soon!

Dick 11:

Pete - We dropped the first pole on my thighs.

With the pole flat on the ground, the idea was for several of us to pick it up while someone held the base end down and feed it into the hole.

I was close to the top end and we began to lift, We had it up to our chest when the base end popped up out of the hole and everyone at that end jumped back. When they did, the base dropped and slammed down forcing the top back down HARD!

I thought I could hold it up so we could try again.

WRONG! The top end dropped straight down and I got two giant Charlie horses on the top of both of my thighs.

Nothing broke but I couldn't walk for a day or so. I remember laying on the couch in the living room watching everyone go off it after getting it put up.

Tim 2:

Danny, it was usually you and I that would do 100 from the big hill, across the valley till we got to Junglewood,. but the Mercedes ornaments tipped at 80 and 100 (exactly, which was what was so funny to us.) I think we were usually coming back from La Pitche or whatever that 3.2 bar was called. I remember you were a little shy at the time and always requested a beer prior to talking to any girls, whereas lack of female companionship at the Abbey made me most desirous of getting on with meeting the girls. We dispatched those "first beers" pretty quickly. We were pretty comfortable going 100 because the only light in the valley was the red brick house on the corner and one other, no vehicles ever. Danny always referred to the houses by who lived there, but I never knew them.

By the way, it was Dicky and I who set the field on fire, Danny and Chris were behind us, intending to join us at the cave or tunnel that was in the side of the hill. We were attempting to burn ants at the time and the wheat was like gasoline. It took 7 fire trucks to put the field out. I didn't see Junglewood for over a year after that incident.


Danny, I remember you coming down a time or two to spend time in Colorado Springs. You were fascinated by the railroad that had a lot of traffic on it.

We were running an experiment to see the effects of putting different materials on the track and how they crushed. You put a huge chunk of concrete on the track that I was sure would actually derail the train. I was laughing so hard I had totally lost my strength and could not remove it by myself. I also was having a hard time talking you into helping me to get it off because of the hysterics. I finally did convince you to help me remove it and we did so. I don’t recall if it was at that time of a subsequent train when we were putting pennies, et cetera on the track, but a railroad detective came out to get us. We easily got away, but he found our bikes in the weeds and put them on the track while he beat the bushes for us. You held bikes in high esteem, I think because they didn’t last long at Junglewood, at least not in working condition and turned yourself in to him. I snuck home by myself while he escorted you to the house. We both caught hell, I don’t remember any spanking, but I do remember the visit got shortened, a much worse punishment.

Dan 11:


Fun(ny) memories - "all 3" especially the M-80 story of which I had a little trouble reading due to some rough laughter. I wasn’t aware that I actually pulled  over that night before the blast.... I’m starting to realize that there were a ‘few’ things that we somehow managed to do within those split seconds before the blast.  While steering the car with my hips (because my hands were on my ears), I was yelling "forget the M-80 cover your ears" and all the while I remember the extremely brave chore that you were attempting during all of this...  I remember how quickly you moved around trying to find it! And I think you might have been successful in  locating, grabbing and re-tossing the M-80 out the roof if I hadn’t yelled "cover up your ears" so loud. I was really afraid that I was going to lose the right half of my --- (rear end).

Hey, one of us needs to tell the "sand in the toilet" story ... you know—on the men’s side of the Junglewood out-house? The only thing is, I’m not sure I remember this story as well as you do, because I’ve heard you tell this story subsequently and I’m always amazed how much detail you remember. I’ll tell you what, you tell this story and I’ll tell the one about the time you went off the  pole (rope) and loaded your jeans with mud.

By the way, Chuck spanked me right after he spanked you that day... I remember it well.  He was trying to go easy on me, I think, because I think he felt he needed to do something - considering the dynamics. I remember how much he reminded me of Dad during that incident... same mannerisms and everything all the way to the spanking - that’s a compliment because I miss those spankings for some strange reason... it must have been all of the fun that led up to them. By the way, I thought it was interesting in your story that you were ready to forfeit the bikes!.... you should have told me, I might have gone along with it.

Fun times!

P.S.... it was the ‘63 that tipped at 100mph, although sometimes I swear we were trying to see if we could blow it (the ornament) off entirely... fast car!

Abigail 1:

It has been hilarious to read all your stories -- especially having been raised as a proper urban child in a family of girls! What a childhood you all had. I've loved the vicarious experience. Meanwhile, I've printed all the e-mails out for Wieb (Johnnie to many if not most of you) which he has enjoyed enormously.


Jim 4:

Wasn't it Gus Hill that was the 4th member of the Hill family? And, don't forget Benj's other friend named Beechee Dunham! The three of them spent many hours at the farm (on the back cement playing basket ball). When Beechee would see a pretty girl, he'd cup his hands around his eyes like binoculars and say "Jiggity-jig, babe!" That would always make me laugh so hard. Funny -- the things we remember ... ???

The horses were Silver and Patches. It was later that we got Captain and Chris as a pair. Chris was easy going, but Captain was rather spirited and un-predictable. He always frightened us a bit, but he was clearly my favorite. Do you remember his tongue that had been cut in an accident of some sort before we got him? Because of that, we could only use a hackamore bridle (one without a mouth bit) on him.

To ride Patches was always a special treat. Andy always thought of Patches as June's horse. Patsy was always allowed to ride him as was Noopy. It seemed that the rest of us could only ride him on a special occasion. I think he was a quarter horse, and Andy always used to tell me that he would make an excellent barrel racer. He was very responsive to knee commands.

Joanie was the one that somehow always ended up riding Silver—the matriarch of our collection of horses. I think she lived well into her twenties—unusual for a horse. She trotted along using a step Andy called "Single-footing"—different, but it made for a comfortable ride. The problem was that she seemed to have a ticklish spot on one of her flanks. If you accidentally touched her there, she would give a mild kick with a rear hoof. If you weren’t alert, you might end up on the ground. Joanie would always go "oof!" followed by her trade-mark giggle. That too, would make me laugh, and I would secretly hope for her to do it again.

And, then we had the thoroughbred named Susie (I’m not sure about the name.). Billy and Patsy were the ones to ride Susie. I wanted nothing to do with her, although she was magnificent to look at. She had a colt that was named Little Guy. I remember Andy wanting to use Kenny to get Little Guy used to having a person on his back. He liked Kenny because Kenny could sit on a horse’s back without reacting nervously as most of us would. And, he thought that would make it easier to "break" Little Guy.

Andy really knew what he was doing when it came to horses. He’s the one that demonstrated to me beyond any doubt that horses could be broken without ANY cruelty. I’ll never forget those hours upon hours at the barn with Andy.

Thanks for adding to this collection, everybody. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this stuff. I’ve even enjoyed sharing several of these stories with non-Haley’s.


It wasn't Gus Hill -- it was Huck Hill! (Wow, how did that come back to me?)