In the winters of my youth I remember while it could get bitter cold inside our drafty wood heated three room shack, we rarely got much snow. What snow we did get blew south into Texas.
One year the wind had died down and about twelve inches of the white stuff was on the ground and I get an idea.
Going out to the shed I dig out an old pair of water skis that someone had left there. Then going to my uncle’s pasture I “barrowed” the genuine US Army parachute with lines attached that he used to cover his haystack. I didn’t bother to ask. I knew it was okay. : )
Our house was just below the crest of a long steep hill and with the paved road that ran in front of it froze over, it made the perfect setting for what I had in mind.
Putting the parachute in a box I haul it and the skis to the top of the hill. I was just getting ready when Raymond showed up wanting to know what I was doing. I explained, knowing what was next and sure enough he pulled the “I’m older than you, so I go first” card.
He slipped his boots into the ski binding and I tied the parachute lines to his belt, under his coat. The wind had picked up considerably. Taking the parachute from the box, I wadded it as tight as I could and at his signal, threw it high into the air.
Raymond disappeared !
Were it not for the tracks in the snow and that blood curdling scream, you’d never knowed he was there.
I ran to the crest of the hill and see Raymond crossing Skull Creek a half mile away and picking up speed. Looked like he was dancing, but I found out later that he had his knife out trying to cut the lines.
There was nothing to do but follow him. That road ran straight as an arrow for three miles, then doglegged to the right. Raymond had picked up enough speed that he was just hitting the top of the small hills on the straight. The first one, he made perfectly, but on the second one I saw a broken ski off the side of the road and on the third one, it looked like someone had tried to plow the snow with a sack of taters.
The tracks didn’t turn at the curve and I saw where he had jumped the ditch, was dragged up the bank and canon balled through an old wood fence. I found the second ski in pieces in a field of corn stubble. The parachute and Raymond I found flapping in the wind on a barbed wire fence. I heard Raymond tell my granny later that had it not been for that fence, he’d a been having his supper in Houston.
So there ends my story. The skis were broke , the parachute ripped apart and Raymond looking like he’d went three quick rounds with a bobcat.
I never did get my turn and have since realized that when Raymond was around, I never did have any fun. : )