Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Above is another shot of Bethel Beach and below is another guest contribution, because Chesapeake Bay Woman is plum wore out. Worn out. She's a plum. Not to be confused with aplomb.
written by The Gwynn's Islander
Growing up on an island in the Chesapeake Bay was a wonderful experience.
The time period of the 60's/70's was very memorable.
There were no video games! You could play the pinball machine* at the service station,** or if someone had a car you might make it to the pool hall next to Donks, the local movie theater which was off the island. Woe be unto he, who was caught off the island without informing the parents. We were forced to manufacture our own fun.
We had quite the band of marauding teenagers on the island in those days. Some actually went on to lead happy and productive lives. I will omit the names to protect against litigation.
We played whatever sport that was in season at each other's houses. We would go swimming for hours on end.
Water surrounded us and protected us from much of the outside world.
I can't remember exactly who got the first mini bike, but from that point on, everyone had to have one and they quickly evolved into dirt bikes. Talk about paradise for the teenagers and pure hell for the parents. No Saturday morning was ever quiet again. Gwynn's Island was one big motocross, with trails and jumps and meeting places. We were coming of age, and it is rumored that some even experimented with alcohol and tobacco, among other things.
One of my friends who is no longer with us was called Putt Putt. I am not sure how he got the nickname, but it sure fit him. Putt was as good as gold, and would give you the shirt off his back. One night, several of the boys were getting together for mischief...err...fellowship, but Putt Putt's headlight on his dirt bike had burned out. Chock full of ingenuity, he taped seven*** flashlights to his handlebars.
Despite the flashlights, Putt was having trouble keeping up with his accomplices...err.. friends. In an area known as Spirit Branch, behind the cemetery, his friends stopped so Putt could catch up.
In one of the strangest accidents ever witnessed, (confirmed by all parties involved, I missed it for some reason,) Putt Putt's bike rammed full speed into the back of his friend's bike. Putt's front tire hit the rear tire of the other bike, driving his friend about twenty feet forward, while shooting Putt Putt and his bike high into the night sky.
"It rained flashlights for five minutes," recalled one of the boys. Putt's bike landed on top of him and resulted in a gash to his knee. "I've got to go home," Putt said, thus ending his fun for the night.
Chesapeake Bay Woman's Questionable Contributions and Commentary:
* They may have had pinball machines over there on Gwynn's Island, but over here at Hudgins, we had no such thing. The only time I saw a pinball machine was at Payne's Frosty (aka Tastee) Freeze and I had no time for that because I was too busy devouring a cheeseburger on a perfectly steamed bun.
**Service Station: Chesapeake Bay Children? Once upon a time, there was no such thing as self-serve gasoline pumps and debit cards. You pulled up to the gas pump, and a wonderful man in a striped shirt with his first name embroidered on his shirt came to your car and said hello. You made idle chit chat and then you told him how much gas you needed. Then, without being told, he checked your oil and your tire pressure. The only thing he wanted in return was some friendly conversation and a smile. You never left the comfort of your car. It was like going to a spa...a spa for people who need to fill their car up with gasoline.
***Seven flashlights taped to the handlebars of a minibike. Seven. Putting it mildly, before I mustered up the patience to tape seven flashlights to the handlebars of my minibike, I'd just as soon have revved the thing up and driven it straight off Cherry Point directly into the bay.
Therein lies the reason why I am not known for ingenuity but am renowned for lack of patience.