Boyhood adventures … and misadventures. Chapter 4.

Steve Caldwell and I sat for school pictures in the fall of 1962, at the height of our friendship. Here he is:

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Here I am on the same day:

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Steve rode his motorcycle to Myrtle for our visit in April 2015, the first time I had seen him in 50 years.

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“Miss Violet” Darden: she turned the tables on Halloween visitors. Page 75.

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The Angel Street home of Gordon and Minnie Simmons–and of some rattlesnakes. See page 75.

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Ronnie Simmons: “In the woods between my yard and the cemetery, we found an abandoned playhouse that Ronnie Simmons had used some time earlier. Ronnie was four years older than I was, and so I was sure that he had already put away such childish things. This would be the perfect hideout for us.” Page 83.

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Donny Nolan in 1962: “I was trying to tag Donny out at home plate when his canine escort, running effective interference, bit me with the result that I dropped the ball and Donny scored.” Page 88.

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Johnny Nolan in 1963: “This was just what Johnny wanted. ‘Ol’ Dorman,’ he said. ‘You get him mad and he starts cussin’.”’ Page 88.

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Mike Smith in 1963: “Mike was more worldly wise as well as big and strong, and I think he took on a protective mission, a duty to watch out for me.” Page 89.

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“As I carried the ball back, I heard Mike triumphantly saying to our team, ‘Would you believe that guy is my cousin?’ And then he said to me the last words I remember ever hearing from him: ‘I didn’t know you had it in you.’  Within a few years, after again moving away from Myrtle, Mike Smith was killed when, on his motorcycle late one night, he ran into a wire that had no business being suspended over his path.” Page 92.

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