So, Billy B. was frozen as he watched his ghostly father filming himself as a child and his mom, Jane. Try as he might…he could not move his limbs. Finally, Jimmy D. shook him and the apparition disappeared. Billy fell asleep immediately and slept the sleep of the dead!
The next morning Jeff D. was in charge of breakfast, and it was delicious! Bacon and sausage along with eggs and grits and homemade biscuits, that Billy B. constructed, and the luscious aroma of campfire coffee…was almost more than the senses could absorb!
Billy had almost forgotten the frightening images that he had seen the night before and assumed that it must have been the moonlight playing tricks with the shadows of the campfire? When all of the sudden…Ronnie B. piped up and announced that he had seen three ghosts last night and that although he needed to pee during the night…he held it because he was scared. He then placed a humongous amount of biscuits and gravy on his tin plate and asked if there was anymore bacon.
I forgot to mention Ronnie B. in part I of this camping story. Ronnie was an especially honest christian man…somewhere in his forties. Ronnie was from Chester, Illinois and he had worked on the Chester Bridge, Chester being a river town, for many years. Ronnie lived with Billy B. and Jimmy D. and Doug D. and Steve L., while Carl B. stayed with the group on weekends. Ronnie was mildly intellectually challenged and yet he had a candor and an honesty that was refreshing and real!
You may not have noticed but; Doug D. and Jeff D. and Jimmy D…..were brothers. Billy B. had been friends with the family for many years.
Doug D. was like a little brother to Billy B. He was a stocky guy with a history of challenging life experiences. Billy marveled at the extraordinary manner that Doug took to the christian life. Doug D. became the assistant manger of the local furniture store and later opened his own business.
Jimmy D. was one of the kindest people that Billy B. had ever met. He had such a humility and love for others that his welcoming of all….was contagious!
Jeff D. was admired by Billy. He considered him one of the most honest people that he knew. Although he appeared to be stoic…he simply held his feelings close to his vest and was a compassionate person.
Steve L. was Billy B’s friend since they both roomed together in the little church that they attended. Steve was a big guy with even a bigger heart!
Jeff L. had seen the hard side of life in Chicago, Illinois. He was an example of the transformational power of the christian walk and a massive dose of willpower and stick-to-the-plan dedication! A life long friend to Billy B.!
And, so, night two of the weekend camping adventure began.
Billy B. insisted that he must sleep near the campfire and surrounded by his friends in order that they could be witness to any unusual occurrences that might transpire during the night.
As darkness fell Billy B. and Carl and all of the others fell asleep and Billy could hear Carl snoring loudly! Carl sounded like he was sawing wood and placing it in the corner by the fireplace for future use!
The D. Brothers sounded a bit like the comedy bit of the Three Stooges Snoring…and Billy laughed out loud…and then he heard a rustling to the left of the campfire. As he put on his glasses and peered through the multicolored flames of the cooling inferno…he saw deer and squirrels and coyotes and raccoons gathered in an audience and intently watching something just beyond the blaze and in a clearing of trees and undergrowth.
There was Billy B.’s father filming his small son and wife in the Chicago suburb of Sauk Village and ….there was a much older Billy…filming his two boys and wife…with a video camera in the 1980’s…in Elkville, Illinois.