Did I mention that Billy Bump’s dad had a Harley Davidson motorcycle? It was the jumbo model from the early 1960’s! The beast, as Billy called it, was able to comfortably carry dad and mom and Billy, in the middle of them.
Now Billy’s father was not just into his Harley…he had the leather jacket and motorcycle hat and he carried a concealed hand gun, that he did not have a permit for, and he did not seek trouble…but he was on a hair trigger ready for it should it find him!
Billy’s dad enjoyed jazz music. He would listen for hours to Billie Holiday sing…while he had a far-away look in his eyes. Billy’s father had fought in World War II in the Pacific Theatre. He had seen action on Okinawa and refused to speak about what he had witnessed. He had left a wavy haired boy…and had returned a troubled man!
Billy’s dad enjoyed watching the television program Gunsmoke and refused to miss it, on it’s weekly showing. He also enjoyed the TV show, Combat, with Vic Morrow and the, Untouchables, with the actors Robert Stack portraying the Chicago Prohibition police officer Elliot Ness.
Jefferson Brooks did not talk much about his family…and so when they all arrived in a packed automobile, one morning, Billy wondered who the strangers were that had driven into his driveway? Out came Jefferson’s father, William, and his sister, Lois, and William’s mother who was a full blooded Cherokee Indian.
Billy’s mom, Jane, told Billy to give his grandpa and his aunt and his great grandma a hug and a kiss! Billy thought, where did these unusual people come from?
Billy’s dad’s folks had driven from California to visit and Billy wondered how they lived in California when all that he had ever heard was that dad was from Ashley, Illinois?
Grandpa William announced that he did not bathe due to the fact that he had bad nerves!
Great grandma, as this is all that Billy ever heard her called, smiled at Billy and sat him on her lap…but did not speak.
Aunt Lois continually hugged and kissed Billy and told him how much that she loved him…and he thought…who is this.
After a few days in the Chicago Heights Billy’s dad proclaimed that they were going to take a motorcycle/car trip to Southern Illinois to have a reunion with his family and Jane’s family in El Dorado, Illinois. About 300 miles from their house. Jefferson and Jane and Billy would ride the Harley and the California Clan would ride in their car.
So the reunion journey began early on a Friday morning. Billy was bedecked in a small version of his dad’s leather coat and a replica of the motorcycle hat that he wore. Grandpa had been talked into a sponge bath and great grandma was smiling. Aunt Lois had kissed Billy on the head…and Billy thought…who is this woman?
As the trip progressed Billy fell asleep and he was in the old west and the Harley and the car from California was surrounded and there were both Indians and cowboys and great grandma was conversing with the Indians. She was telling them that we were alright and that we were her family. Billy’s dad was showing his gun to the cowboys and they were displaying their guns to him. Grandpa William…suddenly pulled out of his coat pocket…a muzzle loader long gun and proclaimed that in his day this was the best firearm in the land!
As Billy shook he awakened to his mom asking him if he needed to go pee? And he thought…what about the Indians and the cowboys and the muzzle loader?
It turns out that that gas station of that day was one of those that had a sign that proudly proclaimed, ‘Eat Get Gas.’…and the Bump family eagerly entered for fuel for machine and body alike!
Billy spied a paperback book about the adventures of Daniel Boone and he asked his dad if he could have it. As dad was purchasing the book Billy considered that the adventure was deepening and he was excited!
As he was eating, Billy noticed the most lovely young girl sitting at the next table over from him. He subsequently jumped down and sashayed over to her and stuck out his hand and said, I am Billy Bump and although I am only six years old…I am much more mature than my chronological age.
The raven haired beauty replied that her name was Robin that she had been watching Billy ever since he entered the restaurant. She said that she was seven but that she liked younger men!
Billy Bump’s heart raced at the words of Robin, the vision of loveliness!
Suddenly Billy heard mom’s stern voice telling him to not bother the nice people and for him to return to the table and finish his lunch!
Billy thought…what would Daniel Boone do?
Note: Photos are courtesy of Google.