Hopatcong Nights 2

Well, for the second week in a row, I am playing off my brother’s blog of last week. Again, it really hit home with me as he again brought up some memories I had lost to time.

His opening remarks about the nights in what was then considered the country were poignant and meaningful to me. I remember the feeling that his word picture so beautifully captured. The feeling of isolation and vulnerability that he spoke of was one that I remember well. It was nothing like The City, where there was always activity and light around you.

However, the City could be a lonely place in the midst of all that activity, in the center of those throngs of people there was a sense of loneliness and fear, for me anyway. Perhaps this is why the country that Robert spoke of was somewhat of a paradox for me. I certainly felt the isolation that Robert addressed, but, here, I could kind of be “somebody”.  Here, I was not picked on and shunned by other kids, simply because there were not a lot of other kids around. Oh, there were few, but very few, and, being one of the older and bigger ones, I could be, as the expression goes, “a big fish in a small pond”. I could be everything here that I couldn’t be in The City. Kids wanted to know what I wanted to do, were I wanted to go. They wanted me on their whiffle ball team or touch football team. In The city is was just the opposite. I was, as I have shared previously, the kid no one wanted on their team, I was the one they made fun of and who would never be part of “the group”. So, alas, here in the country, despite those nagging feelings of vulnerability (I was basically afraid of everything), I could be that Big Fish.

Now, when cousin Chris was around, he was the bigger fish. Older, with all the newest toys and clothes, we both looked up to him. We would have followed him anywhere, but more about that another time.

The “scaring Robert” stuff that he so well relayed in his last blog was innocent fun, yet, in a way, sad. Sad, in that, all too often one makes oneself feel better about themselves, by being mean to someone else. I certainly don’t think Chris nor I ever intended to be mean, but in a way, we were. Looking back after all those years, I know that, for me, it was a stupid means of perhaps making myself feel better about myself. Yet, this was the country, and I was “somebody” here.

I was so glad to hear about Robert looking back and laughing. I’m glad the memory is not all bad and he can recall all the time the three of us had in perfect unity, bonding and playing and enjoying each other’s company. I think, without a doubt, the three of us needed each other.

So, it is with that, I offer one more “mean moment” that I’m sure Rob has not forgotten, though I was surprised he didn’t mention it in his post.

We were walking back from the lake one day… it was late afternoon and dusk was starting to settle in. Perhaps the most “vulnerable” time of day for me, on this all but deserted country road. There were times that we never saw a car until we exited the lonely road and came up to the lake itself.

It was on our way home on this road that a “mean moment” happened.

As we were walking along Rob spotted a very distinct bone in the road. It was probably the remains of a squirrel or rabbit that had the misfortune of encountering one of those very few cars that I mentioned. Anyway, part of its “remains” ( the Bone) was there on the side of the road as we walked home. Robert stopped and looked at the bone, obviously very concerned and curious. He asked innocently and trustingly…

“What is it…’??!.”

I, putting on my terrified face, said;

“It must be the bones of a kid! The victim of the Killer Ghost Dog…….”

The rest is history.

I hope my brother is still laughing.

Salud, Rob.



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