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Frank Boyd

The Rock Wall Incident

By Frank Boyd

I guess the incident of us of sleeping on the rock wall out of the house, must have occurred probably in late 1944. It was pretty obvious to everybody that we were winning the war, and Morgan and Harris Adams somehow or another managed to get leave over the Christmas holidays. They came home for the Christmas holidays, and the whole gang of us went in to White River Junction to celebrate on New Year's eve, 1944. Now, that was the year that I turned thirteen years of age. In many societies thirteen is the age of manhood. Anyway, Morgan and Harris allowed as how that I should be allowed to have a couple of beers. Well, Mom Adams had issued an edict that if we came home messed up, or after a certain time, she wasn't going to let us in the house; the house would be locked up.

Well, we hung around White River Junction, the older folks went on home, and we partied, went to visit friends, went to people's houses and one thing and then another. When we go back to the farm, sure enough, Mama had locked us out. It must have been about 2:00 o'clock in the morning, I guess. Anyway, Morgan, he was the older of the two boys, and he'd been here before. So, he went into the stable and got out some old tarpaulins and some horse blankets that were in there, and he proceeded to make himself a bed up on top the stone wall. He put down the tarpaulin, put down the blanket, laid them over the top of one another to form a big envelope and he crawled in there and laid down and went to sleep. Well, not to be outdone, Harris and I did the same thing.

We woke up in the morning, and the damn tarpaulin was frozen shut from our breath and our body heat. There were little holes at the end that we could breathe through, thank God. But, you talk about some hollering and huffalin' and puffalin'. I guess Morgan had managed to get out of his. He finally got Harris and myself out of ours.

The old man was raising hell because we were supposed to go out to the stable and get to milking. The cows were ready to be milked and he was all hot under the collar. We did, we got up and went on about our work, did what we were supposed to do and went in the house and had our breakfast.

Nothing was said by anybody about anything, there were no recriminations. I guess the feeling was, if you were damn fool enough to go out and get drunk, come in that late and you wound having to sleep on a snow covered stone wall, well that was that.

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Copyright 2001 - Frank Boyd