William J. Bump was a precocious child. Although he was only seven years old, he believed that he was on the level of any of the adults that he knew. He preferred the company of those that were significantly older than he and he had often been told that he had an old soul…in a young body!
Billy Bump loved movies! Nothing pleased him more than to attend both the Orpheum Theatre’s, new, Friday night offering, that also played for the Saturday matinee and Saturday night. Billy would then return to the sanctuary of the only church that he knew of, the Orpheum, for the Sunday matinee.
It was somewhat difficult to explain, although Billy prided himself on his communication skills, what emotional excitement that he received as he watched, not only the Dracula movies of the day, with Cristopher Lee as the evil vampire, as well as the, ‘Absent Minded Professor,’ and the ‘Love Bug,’ and, of course, a triple viewing of Jane Fonda in ‘Barberella!’
Lanny Wells drove Billy to the Orpheum one cold Sunday afternoon. Lanny was the older brother of Dennis, who was a buddy of Billy’s. When Billy got into Lanny’s, hot rod car, Lanny offered him a drink from a flask bottle of Peppermint Schnapps. He asked Billy if he had ever had anything to drink before…and Billy responded with a, healthy, absolutely! When Billy exited the vehicle Lanny told him to be careful. Billy’s legs felt like they were made of rubber and his eyes were a bit out of focus!
Billy recalled, years later, that the movie that he sat through twice, the day of the Schnapps, was one of his most enjoyable!
Lanny and Dennis were Bevis and Butthead…before their time! I mean including the laugh, ‘heh…heh…heh!’ One hot summer day Billy was at the Wells ranch and they invited him to swim with them in their small pond. Billy stripped down to his underwear and jumped in with a gusto! The water was cool and cloudy…and soon the Wells’ hogs joined Billy and the gold dust twins for pond revelry! That was the last swim for Billy in the Wells Pond that was shared by swine!
One day it was announced that a Russian violinist was going to visit Billy’s grade school. Billy was already a music aficionado and he was excited about the upcoming musical program.
When the maestro began his program he noted that he would be performing on a Stradivarius violin and that it was worth their time, even if he did not play a note, to see such a magnificent instrument! As he began to play, Billy was transported to another place in time. The third grade melted away as well as the gymnasium and he began to conduct the performance! As Billy was enthralled in the raptorius ecstasy and bliss of the all consuming music…he felt a, rude, tap on his shoulder! As Billy looked around to see who had interrupted his ecstasy…he saw his teacher motioning for him to stop waving his arms in the manner of a seven year old conductor. He noticed that his entire class had ceased watching the violinist and had been enthralled with his performance!