Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Target Practice on the Back Acre

Hi Bill 

I hope you and your family are well and happy. Life on the plains has been good to us. Sometimes I am amazed that we have lived here for 32 years, but at some point in time we realized that this is our home and we plan to remain here. However, I wish we could get together with you and your family more often. You’re my big brother and it would be great to see each other more. We hope to make another trip to see you, but I’m not sure when that will happen. Until then, I guess occasional phone calls and letters will have to suffice.

However, I have many wonderful memories of our relationship “back in the day”. Recently, I fondly remembered an interaction with you when I must have been about 10 years old, which would have put you at 18. We were in the back acre of our parents’ property and I was doing my best to irritate you. Evidently I must have been good at irritating you! You told me to stop doing whatever idiotic thing I was doing to provoke you. Of course, my behavior only got worse. I was not smart enough to consider the BB (or was it pellet) rifle that we were shooting. However, you thought about it and told me to run as fast as I can because you were going to count to 10 and then shoot me if I didn’t get myself under control. Well I wasn’t particularly intelligent back then. Therefore I continued my behavior and I wasn’t about to run. You began to count and I believe my reactions to your counting were similar to the following:
  1. - “Yeah right, you won’t shoot me.”
  2. - “I’m not afraid of you!" 
  3. - “You won’t shoot me.”
  4. - He won’t shoot me.
  5.  - “I’m not afraid of you!”
  6.  - No way he will shoot me.
  7.  - Maybe this isn’t smart!
  8.  - He’s gonna shoot me!
  9.  - Run! Run! Run as fast as you can!!!!
  10. – Bang! (Clack really) - The BB/pellet hit me in my left thigh and I screamed bloody murder and hit the ground.
Of course you helped me up and comforted me. We looked at my “wound,” and it was not even bleeding, but there was a big red welt there. You were sorry and we decided that the parents didn’t need to know about this incident. I never did tell our parents and I was very proud to endure a little pain from my “gunshot” wound. I knew you were a good shot and you were careful not to hit me in any dangerous areas. Also, you may have been trying to miss me and my spasmodic behavior threw me into the path of the BB. In any case, there were no lasting effects other than some discomfort for a few days. It was one of the many experiences with you that revealed my weird personality and lack of wisdom, but it also contributed to my toughness and helped teach me to be more careful about my attitude and behavior. I learned to not ignore a threat from anyone because you never know what people might do, and that knowledge has served me well. However, I had a long way to go to get my behavior under control. I guess writing about this experience is a little unusual, but it is a good memory for me. I hope to share more good memories and present life experiences with you in the near future. You helped make me the person I am today and I am grateful.

Thanks for being my big brother! 

Sincerely Clark

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