Friday, February 20, 2009

Flashback Friday #26

The neighbors

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Flashback Friday. As you may well have noticed, this is #26, which means I've been doing this for 6 months (or half a year, which ever is longer). Well, Lady Lemon, Did you think your ol' dad would hang in there for this long?

Now that the rambling is out of the way, I want to spin a few yarns about some of the neighbors we had when I was a child. I told you somewhat about the flaming marshmallow flinger and the neighborhood babysitter, but there are a couple others that need to be mentioned.

The first family I will discuss moved in across the street when the marshmallow flinger's family moved out. Lyle and Carol had four kids (3 girls, 1 boy) when they moved in. How they found time to have kids is beyond me, because they were always fighting. This wasn't your run of the mill yelling & slamming doors fight. Some of these could have been put on Ultimate Fight Championship. When my brother and I would hear them starting up, we would grab a bag of chips and climb out onto our front porch roof to watch, because the fight always spilled out into the front yard.

Carol was no small woman, and she held her own against everything that Lyle threw at her. Sometimes she threw it back. I saw her one time pick up a cement block and heave it at him. He ducked and it smashed out the car windshield. Another time he told her she wasn't going anywhere, so he pulled the engine out of her car and left in the other car. She lowered the engine back in place, bolted everything back together, and took off to wherever she was headed. The only time I ever saw a Sheriff's car there was during "The Fire", which is a whole separate blog post of itself. (It will be coming shortly)

The other set of neighbors that I will discuss today moved in when the three kids next to us moved out. Rex and his sister, Tammy moved in, and the house became outlaw biker central. Neither Rex, nor Tammy were married (divorced?), and they could throw parties so wild, I'm surprised that Marlin Perkins didn't show up (He was the host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, for those of you who didn't know).

Tammy had the first water bed in the neighborhood. One day she asked Carol's sister Nelly (who lived a few houses down the street) if she wanted to see it. Nelly poked it a few times with her finger and pronounced it "neat". Tammy said "Lay down on it so you can get the proper feel of it." "Oh no," Nelly replied, "Something will happen." "Nonsense" said Tammy, and with that she grabbed Nelly by the arm and flung her sprawling onto the bed face down. Nelly got up really fast because a safety pin that she had keeping her pants together came undone and put a hole in the water bed. Since it was one of the first water beds, it consisted simply of a rubber bag filled with water. They scrambled to get it patched before all the water leaked out. Nelly told this story to me and my brother right after it happened.

One time they were throwing one of their parties. There were about 30 motorcycles there, with more on the way. One guy took a shortcut and rode through our yard into Rex's backyard. Dad came unglued. He marched over there and told them that they might outnumber him, and would probably whip him, but he wasn't going to allow them to disrespect his property. "You may take me, but I guarantee that some of you will go with me." he said. Rex made the burly motorcycle guy apologize to dad, and assured him that it wouldn't happen again.

Another time they had more people show up than they had food for. No problem. The neighbor on the other side (who also was an outlaw biker) walked to his back yard, fetched a goat that he had tethered there, butchered it, and tossed it on the grill. His dogs, which ran loose most of the time, carried that goat head around the neighborhood for about a week (Ewww).

After that party, a very large marijuana plant grew up in Rex's back yard. He would growl at anyone who looked like they were getting too close. It was about six feet high when the Sheriff came out to see it. Rex moved out shortly after that and a couple with four kids (3 boys, 1 girl) moved in. Two of they boys were near to my age and we had many adventures together that will be chronicled in upcoming Flashback Fridays.

I've told you about some of the wildlife around us. Check out My Tiny Kingdom's Flashback Friday carnival. She actually saw the wildlife of Africa.


Ladybird said...

Oh, your neighborhood sounds much more interesting than mine! I may only be 32, but I totally knew who Marlin Perkins was. MOHWK came on every Wednesday night!

Lavender Chick said...

Oh yes, I remember Wild Kingdom.... But too bad they didn't have Wild Kingdom Neighborhoods reality TV back then - your neighbohood could have been famous!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

What a great post! My family loves to talk about all of our crazy neighbors. However, You might make our stories seem boring!

Mrs. Nurse Boy

rainbowcreek said...

Very entertaining! We had a few wild neighbors back in the day, I hadn't though about them in years til I read your story.

Hard to believe that back then people had so much more tolerance and a mind your own business attitude. Now if your neighbor doesn't like the color of your lawn chairs they feel entitled to force you to change 'em. Reminds me of Robert Frost, Mending Wall, "Good fences make good neighbors."