Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Imaginary Games

When we were children (we being me, the oldest, two brothers, and a sister), our summer vacations almost always involved a camping trip to Yosemite or another national park in that area of California. This was real camping with tents, sleeping bags, air mattress, Coleman lanterns, white gas stove, hot chocolate made with canned milk, washing feet off in a pail of water before going to bed.

My father had 3 sisters, who also liked camping, and often one or more of them, and their families, would meet us there.

I got along well with all of my cousins, but one who I had a special affinity with was my cousin Richard, who was a couple of years younger than I was but not enough for the age difference to make a difference by the time the 1950s were coming to an end. We like a lot of the same things. We were interested in birds and animals and science and nature in general.

I remember one camping trip at Yosemite in particular, which would have been in the late 1950s, when he was there too. He had dinosaur comic books – not sure what else to call them – fanciful adventure stories of intrepid “cave men” doing battle with the T-rex and other assorted giant reptiles. We read the comic books, played dinosaur, and had a wonderful time.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.

The first thing I read in the local weekly newspaper (if it happens to be included that particular week) is the Police Blotter. Although I listen to the police scanner while I work, I don’t hear everything that goes on, and finding out what actually has happened on some of the calls I hear is very illuminating. Small towns may not have the murders and very violent crimes found in big cities but they are not free of crime by any means. In addition to routine traffic violations, there are a lot of calls dealing with peace disturbances, loose dogs, domestic assaults, custody exchange problems, burglaries and thefts, drugs (the county I live in is in competition with the neighboring county for meth capital of this area of the state), suspicious characters lurking--that sort of thing.

But on the particular day in question, nestled in between a report of an intoxicated driver at McDonald’s, who was arrested, and a call from a victim who said he let his friend use his debit card to borrow $20 but the friend took a lot more than that, was this little gem.
At 4 p.m., Officer J received a call of a fight in progress at the xxxx Apartments. Upon arrival, it was determined to be a group of children pretending they were dinosaurs
 Pretending they were dinosaurs! I haven't played dinosaur in a very very long time. I wish I could have joined them!


Far Side of Fifty said...

Love your old camping memories! I never went anyplace as a child, well to a State Park...Farm kids always stayed on the farm:)

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