Old Faithful

21 Jul

A trove of Blue Lake lore from 1967 – 1969 was recently unearthed.  Here is the first in the series, titled Old Faithful:

“Tonight was a normal summer evening.  It was peaceful and a cool breeze blew off the lake.  The fir and maple trees were whispering and the stars glittered in the moonless sky.  There were four of us playing pool at the local bar.  After the eighth game I became restless.  The midwest drawl of the polluted patrons of this low class establishment became repulsive.  None of the local chicks showed up and I was steadily losing bread on eight ball.  The other three were depressed but richer and agreed to my suggestion of splitting.

We jumped into my six-year-old Jeep and were off with me behind the wheel.  We decided on a journey through the woods, hoping it would lift our spirits.  We had all been over this path through the forest before.  The loggers ten years back left a maze of trails between the two local roads.  The four of us explored these trails each day on horseback.  We all knew the shortest way but this was the first time we tried it at night in the Jeep.

As I piloted the Jeep into the beginning trails the forest looked foreboding.  The trees on either side of the trail seemed to engulf us and the grass in the middle of the trail seemed as if it wanted to strangle the driveshaft of the Jeep.  But she kept going with her lights piercing the darkness.  For the next twenty minutes we were silent and the forest was silent and the only friendly sound was the whine of her engine.  We rounded the familiar turn and were ready for the steep descent.

I locked her into four wheel drive and eased her down the thirty degree slope.  At the bottom of the hill was the familiar hunting cabin, just beyond the road that led back to the local artery.  As we followed the trail around the cabin we were confronted by a new white Cadillac.

It stood there like a pig wallowing in a mud hole determined not to move.  We all wondered how the trapper who owned the cabin got such a car.  My three comrades got out and surveyed the situation.  All of us knew that the trapper had a short temper and we should not wake him fore he probably would shoot first and ask questions later.

Being as silent as possible, I started to pilot my Jeep around the wallowing pig.  Half way around I found myself at a precarious slant; the bottom of the Jeep was four feet away from the Caddy but the top was only six inches from it.  The next moment a crashing sound interrupted the stillness of the night.  I was scared as all hell.  However, it wasn’t my precious machine hitting the Caddy but a hidden stump hitting the undercarriage of my Jeep.  A few seconds later, she was around the pig and free to reach the road.  I accelerated out to the road and stopped for my three friends to get in.  Once in, we all smiled, celebrating victory over the big white pig.  But our moment of victory was cut short.

A shot rang through the forest.  I popped the clutch and my Jeep stalled.  We heard shouts and two men in their early twenties appeared.  They were both in their underwear with a can of cold beer in one hand and a pistol in the other.  My blood ran cold and my heard beat faster.  The smaller of the two ordered me from my protective vehicle.  I made no argument fore a .38 was pointed at my head.  He said he was glad I stopped because he would have put a slug through my head and it would have been the first person he shot in the back of the head since he had been back from ‘Nam.  I knew as well as he did that if he did shoot me and my friends no one would find the bodies if they were placed in the swamp across the road.  He asked for my keys and I obliged.

The larger man had a .45 trained on my comrades as I was lead around the great white pig with a .38 at my head.  When I got back to the jeep I explained the situation about hitting the stump.  They seemed to understand in their half-polluted state.  I got the keys back and started the Jeep up.  I got back on the road and within ten minutes I was back at the bar.

I had a beer and thought about the Jeep.  As far as I could remember, this was the first time she stalled in over a year.  The others were fairly silent and I joined them in a few games of eight ball.  I won the rest of the games.”

Does this story bring back memories for anybody?  It seems to me that the referenced hunting cabin populated by the cranky trapper might have been on Sutton Road, and in fact, may have been one of those old cabins that burned down about fifteen years ago.  Any ideas as to which bar the author visited to shoot pool with his chums?

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2 Responses to “Old Faithful”

  1. Greg Anastos July 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    What a fun read!!! Beautifully written. LIttle scary though!! Wonder who the people were? :)

  2. Gail July 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Cellar Bar?

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