Finally summer had arrived. School was out and Billy Bump was extremely pleased! School was not his passion and after Christmas and the subsequent return to academia in January…it was all uphill until May.
But, summer meant swimming at Pounds Hollow Pond! Billy’s mom, Jane, loved to swim and she throughly enjoyed taking Billy and his friends to the Pond which was about a twenty mile drive.
Jane had a 1957 Chevy convertible and she gripped the steering wheel at 10 and 2…tightly! You see, Jane had not learned to drive until she was well into her 30’s, and one time she turned onto a one way street in Evansville, Indiana…and Billy screamed, ‘mom you are going to get us killed!’
When they arrived at Pounds Hollow, accompanied by Billy’s friend Carl, they proceeded down the wide and uneven stone steps that seemed to go on forever.
There were cookout grills for charcoal cooking and picnic tables and the bath house that had a unique odor. There were the girls in swim suits and, the scandalous bikini, and Carl’s eyes looked even larger than ever!
Once Billy and Carl changed into their swimming trunks and locked their street clothes in the baskets provided, they walked into nirvana!
Pounds was a large pond, at least to eight year olds, and Billy had taken to going past the safety rope into the wide expanse of, uncharted, water. Pounds Hollow was rumored to have several water moccasin snakes and they were poisonous!
Billy had learned to float the summer before…and could do so for hours! Carl, on the other hand, preferred to stay on the safe side of the rope and peer at the natural water world though his coke bottle lenses. Carl’s eyes were weak and his thick lenses gave him the perpetual look of wonder and surprise and even the delight of a pilgrim on adventure in the new world!
As Billy began to float, as if he were in the Dead Sea, he noticed a shiny object on the far right-hand bank…a full half mile from the beach. As he floated over to the, what appeared to be a silver orb that was half buried in the earth, he noticed that there was no neither grass or brush or trees around the peculiar object.
Billy loved the science fiction televisions shows of the day including; The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits, and even, Lost In Space. He devoured science fiction comic books and, regularly, discussed monster movies with his cousin, Harry.
As Billy climbed onto the barren ground he saw that the metal object was not just shinning in the sun…it was glowing! He walked, slowly, toward the shinning and glowing orb that now seemed to be singing some obscure song in a language that he did not understand. As he walked toward the orb he had a strange calm feeling much like he felt on Christmas morning.
Suddenly he was with his father, in Chicago, and his dad was carrying him on his shoulders and laughing and extorting him with the Christmas song,
‘Oh you better watch out’
‘You better not cry’
‘You better watch out…and I am telling you why’
‘Santa Clause is coming to town!’
Billy’s head felt like it was full of pop and he was giddy, somewhat like the time that he had drank the long drinks from Lanny Willis’s Peppermint Schnapps flask bottle.
Before him was Carl and they were playing with his action figure of the, popular Daniel Boone figure that was modeled on the facial features of the actor Fess Parker, and they were eating hot dogs that were straight out of the package…or as Carl’s mom said, ‘that was the way that Carl and his dad Carol liked them.’
Billy looked behind him and there was mom, although she was not in her swim suit and she would not have attempted to swim across the half mile expanse of water moccasin snake filled dangerous water, to retrieve him.
Mom was singing, ‘If you haven’t got a penny…a hay penny will do’
If you haven’t got a hay penny…God bless you!’
She was standing beside their aluminum Christmas tree and handing him his present of a Big Swinger Polaroid Camera!
‘ Order us ten Moo and Cackle cheeseburgers Billy and we will head for home,’ mom intoned. Carl was smiling like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland…and Billy Bump wondered what had just happened?