Billy B. and Carl had decided that they wanted to go camping. It was mid-October and the nights were chilly and the days were cool. The relished the idea of camping under the stars with no more than sleeping bags and a campfire and Smores! But, first, they had to purchase some sleeping bags…as they had never been camping before. About the same time as the planning commenced…Jeff L. and Jeff D. and Doug D. and Steve L. and Jimmy D. decided that they wanted to join them in the adventure!
The camping excursion, in the midst of the Shawnee Forest…had become a group effort. When Billy B. and Carl entered the local Wall-Mart in DuQuoin, Illinois to find the perfect sleeping bags they were undecided when they were confronted with no less than 20 varieties. There were thermal sleeping bags and canvas sleeping bags and sleeping bags for two, which completely freaked them out, and there were sleeping bags that were water repellent…and that sounded good to them.
Soon came the night of the great Camp-Off and Billy B. and Carl and the two Jeffs and the D. brothers and Steve L. proceeded to the rustic campgrounds. As they walked onto the grounds it was already dusk. Jeff D. began constructing a campfire and Carl and Billy B. began searching for fuel for the fire. Steve L. had the Smores pack…and was guarding it with his life! Doug D. and Jimmy D. began rolling out the sleeping bags and retrieving the cookware from the van that they all came in.
The evening wood’s noises were plentiful and a harbinger of what awaited the intrepid campers that night. First, they heard the mournful howl of a coyote…and another answer him from, seemingly, far away. They heard the chittering of squirrels and the rustle of deer. As darkness fell and the campfire glowed…an owl began to hoot and the bull frogs began to croak, lustily! Jeff L. began to tell us stories from his life in Chicago and Carl said that he felt a spiritual presence in the woods. But then again, Carl was inscrutable! The young men had dined on campfire coffee and hot dogs and hamburgers. Steve L. had been in complete charge off the Smores…and they had been resplendent! The night sky was without clouds and every star was in full view of the campers as they retired for the night.
Billy B. awoke to a definite feeling that someone was watching him. He looked to his left and there was Steve L. sleeping the sleep of the guiltless, and to his right was Carl…staring intently at the starlit sky. But in front of him was a man filming him with an eight millimeters movie camera. When Billy B. called out to the man…he did not answer. Instead he stopped, periodically, and changed the film in the camera and resumed filming…an unseen family. The ghostly cinematographer gestured with his free hand for his movie subjects to move into the frame of the film and smiled at what he was seeing.
Billy B. shook Carl and asked him if he was seeing the spectral man filming something that was invisible? Carl answered that not only did he see the man….but he saw the people that he was filming. Billy asked who is he filming? Carl answered that the man who was filming was Billy B.’s father and he was filming Billy B. and his mother, Jane, when they lived in Chicago…many years ago!