Chapter 8 

Jim 11:

Hey Noop,

Let me guess about Superman and Lois -- I can remember how Kenny was sometimes totally engulfed in his Superman fantasies. So my first guess would be Kenny, although it's easier to imagine Tommy rescuing a screeching Vinegar from Danny's mischief. (Shame on you, Danny!)

With respect to the Roy Rogers thing, that would have to have been Tommy. Tommy was never into the horses, but I can imagine him doing a Roy Rogers roll-playing thing very well. And, I can imagine how nicely the Red Chair might serve as his Trigger (Roy's horse).

Dan 16:

Here's a story that Jim reminded me of… The time frame was the summer of 1965. One late afternoon, I was walking towards the Junglewood greenhouse boiler room and I can’t remember why I was headed that way, but I was distracted with the site of Uncle John’s old ’59 Ford station wagon. It had been parked along side his greenhouse for quite sometime and I remember wondering why. So I went over to have a closer look. As I was looking in the windows, I was startled by a loud voice asking… "Want to buy it?"

I turned and there was Uncle John right behind me. When I looked up at him, I couldn’t decide if he was upset about my apparent trespass or what, but I responded with a quick, "How much?"…

"$5" he responded and I knew he was serious. I then asked him if it worked and he said it should start, but the tires would need air. I stuttered with disbelief as I tried to tell him that I would be right back!

I ran and got $5 along with a bicycle pump and ran back. I had to go to his front door to meet him where we completed our deal. I remember he told me that he had lost the title and I would need to apply for another one if I wanted to drive it on the streets. I didn't care about that… I just said thanks and took off toward the car and turned around and yelled… "the keys?" He responded "they’re in it".

I again took off toward the car still wondering if this whole thing was just a dream. Some of the reality set in though as I remember hand pumping (1/2 hour at least) the tires enough to get over to the pipe shop which was only about 100 feet away. Uncle John was there when I was getting ready to start it and he told me to pump the accelerator a few times before I attempted to start it… the car argued, but it finally started. I remember saying "thanks" one more time as I passed him and I drove it over to the pipe shop. Wahooo!… we were both happy!

A couple of subsequent stories…

The very next day, as I was cleaning the car, I found some false teeth in the glove box. I knew they belonged to John, but I remember being afraid to mention it to him for fear I’d thoroughly embarrass him. I knew I had to take them back though, so I did. When he answered the door to my knock, I simply said, "I found these in the glove box" and he responded with "Nope, they go with the car." He was facetiously serious, which took the edge off the situation instantly… classic Uncle John humor.

About a week later, as I was dismantling the back seat, I found a $10 bill. I tried to give it back to John but he wouldn’t take it and I didn’t think he would which I think I was actually banking on (no pun intended). Anyway, that’s the story of my first car which ended up costing (John) $5. As I look back, I seriously don’t know whether I enjoyed the fun that Uncle John manufactured into the deal or the car itself. I know one thing, I have fond memories of Uncle John. I always enjoyed his humor.


I'm sorry about Vinegar the cat. I didn’t know I did that!  You mentioned he made a scream like a siren… I feel like I was part of a Spanky and our Gang episode.  I must have been trying to get a realistic Fire Truck (my favorite toy) sound as I was riding my tricycle one day.  I really did want to be a fireman.  Was I really swinging him around my head?  That’s awful!  You don't happen to recall a courageous story about me.  The contrast sure would help my spirits… is it possible that Roy Rogers was me maybe?  

By the way, you still owe Timmy a kiss for that time we caught you cheating at spin the bottle.


Mary 1:

Hey Danny,

Do you still have the teeth? Some of us might be able to put them to use soon. Thanks for the story - I did love Daddy's humor and it is nice to have a new story to remind me of him.  Fortunately for most of you, my memory is not nearly as good as yours; besides any stories would go back to when you were still crawling-how is it being so young?



Dan 17:

Hi Mary. I'm glad you liked my story. I still think about Uncle John often, even though it's been over 30 years since he's been with us.

Quick story (I've always wanted to share this and it seems the moment has never been quite right)... When I was 6 or 7 years old, I remember watching him as he sat in our kitchen talking with Mom.  I watched him from the little window that opened into the big porch and wanted to believe he couldn't see me, but I think he knew I was there... he knew I liked him. I mostly enjoyed watching his expressions as I could only understand a fraction of what he and mom discussed.  He had such a happy laugh.  I know Mom wondered what the hell was wrong with me, at times, as I sat there in there in that window.  She'd say something like "Why don't you go out and play with Dicky, honey?" I just sat there hoping it wouldn't become an issue.

How are Stephen and Wendell doing?

Love, Danny

ps... It's funny, I kept the teeth in the glove box for the longest time... I'm not  sure what ended up happening to them. 

Tom 4:


What a great car -[referring to an earlier story from Jim] it was the first car I ever saw with automatic transmission and there was this neat arm rest you could fold down in the middle of the rear seat!

What I remember is that Dad first acquired the '41 Cadillac independently of Art Hill. After we had it for some years, he sold it to Art Hill, who had an almost identical one, but a little lighter black, a very dark grey. He had a female nickname for his car....darn, can't remember it!

I remember for several years we got a kick out of going over to their Littleton home and seeing the two identical cars parked in front. I remember Dad being really glad Art got the car as he spent a lot of time restoring it after its Junglewood experience.

Oh, the other thing I remember about this car is that it was the one mom drove me, Jim and Bill over to the summer camp those 2-3 summers around '53, '54, '55 at the lake by Jock Mitchell's house. The hood of the car was quite high and it was a real trick negotiating the twisting, curving, up and down ONE LANE country road that led into the lake from Wadsworth - totally blind curves, and you always hoped any car coming the other direction was being just as careful coming around the curve as you were!! If I was nervous at 8 years old, I wonder how mom felt!!

Anybody else remember anything about the old caddy??

Noop 3:


I have a mental picture of the two of us laughing so hard we were almost peeing in our pants (forgive me!) because Vinegar was squalling so. You were twirling him 360 degrees around your head. I can't believe his tail didn't break off. We thought it was hilarious, but Mom was really mad. She ran down the stairs from our upstairs bathroom and I really don't recall if she caught you or not. Neither do I recall if we ever saw Vinegar again. 

Do I remember anything courageous? Hmmmmm 

I remember our first and only date? You were quite the gentleman. Do you remember what we did? 

Actually, I don't remember Timmy being there when we played Spin the Bottle. I remember being up in the old tennis court...

 Do you remember trying to teach me how to play tennis. Your dad bought me a racket and you were to teach me how to play. I don't think I ever got the hang of it and you got embarrassed trying to explain "love" to me. Teaching a sport to ME was rather courageous. 

Tim 4:    {Responding to what Dan said here...}

I was there. You owe me.

Dan 18:

Hi Noopy,

First of all, I don't feel so bad about the Vinegar issue any more. It sounds like we were sort of in on it together (and having a great time I might add) which removes some of the guilt I picked up from your previous message. You know, I might have stood a chance of remembering this story if June 'had' caught me. :-( I really wish I could remember it though. All I can say is we must have either really hated that cat or we were in serious need of something to kick the boredom out of a hot summer day at the farm... it was one or the other. The later of these two alternatives produced alot of fun in general or should I say trouble?

I do remember the date we went on and I know what we did, but I've got an idea... let's keep everybody wondering ... ok? I also remember giving you that tennis lesson and you were right about how I struggled with the "love" explanation... I never had a chance though because you wouldn't stop laughing. 

It was still fun though. Have you seen Timmy's response to the spin the bottle issue? You might have to come up with something clever... like sticking with your story. You'll think of something. 

Here's one for you... Do you remember the old water tower issue and who got in trouble with me for doing a perfectly honorable deed? You know him well. This is a story that I need to tell soon, because Kenny found a picture that adds a quick thousand words, so telling it should be easy. 

I just read a note from Jim complimenting "your priceless recollection" on the contributions you have made thus far and I couldn't agree more... thanks. Got any more stories? Your memory is possibly better than your mother's was... wow is that saying something. We also need pictures, if you have any. I know Pete has some and I plan on visiting him in G.J. before year end. It's always good to see him. Talk to you later.

Pete 5:

Danny's story about Uncle John's old Ford station wagon reminded me about something that Dan left out. 

When we were removing the body and assorted parts, from behind the cap on back to the rear bumper, we found a bunch of credit cards inside the right rear door. It was most confusing because the cards were mostly current and held together by a clear plastic cardholder that certainly would not fit between the doorframe and the window. Uncle John didn't know the person and couldn't imagine how the cards may have gotten in the door. I don't know just how long the car had been sitting but it had been quite a long time which made the whole mystery even more odd. At any rate Danny called the person whose name was on the cards. The person then came out and collected them and even gave Danny some sort of a reward for calling him and returning the cards. 

Getting back to the car. Once the majority of the car was removed leaving only the chassis and suspension, we had a great 'play car'. We must have gone through many gallon of gas flying around the dirt roads of Junglewood. As it is with all good things the car finally broke or we just tired of it but at any rate it ended up parked for a long time up by the woodpile. 

Maybe Dick remembers what finally happened to it. Hint; the rest of the story involved the tractor and tow chain.

Ken 10:

Noop.  Yeah, I guess I was Superman.  I remember being fascinated by the thought of flying. And it utterly killed me if I ever had to miss Superman on TV--even the reruns.   I remember looking in the Wards catalog and seeing Superman costumes.  But the kids wearing them looked so dorky to me, I never asked for one.  Instead, as I'm sure you remember, I used a kitchen dishtowel for a cloak, and that's all I needed.  Anyway, good memory!  I hadn't thought about the red chair you mentioned in years, but now I remember it vividly.  I think all us kids used the arms as our favorite horse at some point.

Speaking of memorable chairs, I can't remember whether is was Dan or Dick that nailed skis to the bottom of that old (but sturdy!) mission-style wood chair.  The thought of taking that thing down the hill still makes me laugh: so comfortable, yet so...out of control!

OK, Dan and Noop, the suspense is killing me.  What happened on that date?  (Remember, now, this is a family site.)

And, Dick?  What did finally happen to the 59 Ford?  (Tractor and chain?)  I remember some of the old 8mm movies with Danny, Peter and you spinning cookies out in the field with what was left of that old car.  There was so little weight left on the rear wheels, I don't think it was possible to go forward without spinning out.  The image I remember is dust clouds with the headlights and grill peeking out.