I was fortunate to grow up in a great neighborhood, with a few kids living on the same very steep street. While we had a good sized yard that offered plenty of playing area and trees to climb, the big draw was the huge field behind our back fence. On the back side of the field we had "the woods". At least this is what my buddy, David and I called it. David also grew up on the same street.
One constant in growing up where we did was our love for The Woods. David and I were usually toting our fake WWII guns, building forts and digging foxholes in these woods. Like faithful
boy-soldiers, our mission was to meet after school and report to duty either in the woods, or under the big tree overlooking (what is now) the McDonalds parking lot. We definitely had fun..we'll except the time we built a foxhole and decided to test it's worthiness. David crawled in and I heaved a big rock which promptly landed on his head. With blood gushing down his face, he cried and went home (wimp :). I doubt his mom was pleased with results of my creative grenade and lack of common sense at the time. My thought quickly raced from "is David OK?" to "I hope she doesn't kill me!". Nonetheless, we were kids that needed to be let loose in the outdoors to shed massive amounts of imagination and energy.
Invariably the long afternoons had to come to an end. Usually around 5:15pm, our fun would be broken up with the long and trailing "Daaaavid". No matter where in The Woods you were, it was unmistakable. Like sheep knowing their masters call-this was David's Dad saying it was time to come in for supper. It was our signal that the fun was ending. You didn't want to be around if he had to yell too many times. That's when the phone at my house would start ringing.
I'm writing this because this is a good memory. There were quite a few fond memories with David around! For example: "The Annual Cope-Sharp Camping Trip" on the banks of the Elk River. This "annual" event occurred only once, and he probably called it the Annual Sharp-Cope Camping Trip.
Other memories include us shoveling snow for cash when school was closed, mowing lawns for cash, making ramps and jumping them on our bikes, seeing his sister Linda give haircuts to the cool highschoolers on their patio above the garage, and having a "Daytona 500" with our bikes at the old strip mall just below David's house. This was fun until the old lady who owned the fabric store complained that our going around in circles kicked too much dust in her back parking lot...which landed on her fabrics.
No matter the activity, we could always count on hearing David's name being bellowed off their back porch around dinner time. Returning from out of the country last night, I learned that his Dad passed away. Dan spent his career in the National Guard, but was a gentle man. A gentle man with a bellowing voice. Dan lived a good life and his Father finally called his name to come home.
To learn more about the man behind the voice, click on over to: