By: Uncle Walls
As youngsters, the one sentence we heard all the time from our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles was…”don’t grow up so fast..slow down…enjoy your youth”.
As a young teenager, I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel of my mom’s Plymouth station wagon…it was the split-pea soup green paint scheme with the imitation wood grain sides XL model…it had Clark Griswold written all over it..of course in 1976, who knew what a Clark Griswold was??? In today’s vernacular…we all know what a Clark Griswold is…ah yes, Clark Griswold would have been proud of this 1973 limited edition…all steel, built like a tank, could take an IUD and not miss a beat…got 5 miles per gallon..of course back then, gas was only 60 cents a gallon.
Then years later, you get a car and you also get…insurance…and registration…and taxes…and repairs…and tires…and oil changes…and oh yes, the dreaded ticket, which not one of them I deserved!!!!!
But before my creative and impressionable teenage years, (heavy on the creative) lets reflect back…on my younger days, my Age of Innocence….we had Family get-togethers, family reunions, 4th of July’s at the lake and holidays….all great times to run around with my cousins….shooting fireworks, blowing up frogs, fighting, locking someone in the bathroom…and..DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!…. the cat-like prowess we posses at successfully swiping food, candy, desserts and 6 ounce ice-cold Coca Cola’s in the glass bottle…and thinking we’re getting away with it…(oh, my mom and aunt knew what we were up too)…..and lastly, sneaking out with one of my Pappaw’s King Edward cigars, smoking it behind the garage and puking your guts up….this wasn’t great fun..this was awesome fun!!!…ONLY to be put on hiatus, because the older folk wants to eat, take pictures and all that older folk stuff that they like to do….that part, we youngsters dreaded…we’d rather take my Mammaw’s castor oil “this will cure everything” concoction then have to participate in the older folk stuff….
Through time, as the “older folk” pass, you do get a sense of missing them and especially listening to their stories… but the real kick in the butt is when one of your siblings or cousins pass and reality sets in…and you realize just how much you miss those days of family get together’s, family reunions, 4th of July’s and holidays.
At that point and time, you find yourself as the organizer, the one making phone calls, writing letters, corresponding with immediate family members and relatives, near and far…lining up food, who’s gonna cook what, so on and so forth….just to get these events back on schedule and to become yearly events………OMG, I’ve become one of the “older folk”…Shoot Me!!!!
So now, you’re wondering where am I going with this….bear with me here…..this is the epilogue of this article. I used “epilogue” for those of you who use to watch Barnaby Jones growing up…if you don’t know…Google it…and yes, Buddy Epson played several different characters on television beside the Jed Clampett role on the Beverly Hillbillies….that reminds me of a story that includes Epilogue, a dictionary, my mom, my big mouth and one hour of time in my life, that I will never get back….that’s for another day……moving on…
The point I’m getting too, is this…part of my Age of Innocence is my dad bringing me to watch athletic events on the campus of Arkansas State when I was a youngster, mainly football games. What I remember was nothing mattered, not a worried in the world…life was great…no responsibilities. The smell of cotton candy, popcorn, soda’s in a flimsy, waxy cup, Indian Family, Kays Field, the red-dog gravel track around the field, the constant horn blowing of the passing trains…yet, it was time to say goodbye..I miss Kays..I didn’t understand at the time….but, it was time for Kays to pass, oh the stories old Kays could tell…..so, it became evident it was time to organize, write letters and move to a bigger and better facility. It gave us Indian Stadium.
I eventually fell in love with Indian Stadium….took awhile……oh, what stories old Indian stadium could tell..I spent many an afternoon and evening traipsing and stumbling along its sidelines as the old Indian Brave…oh, what stories the old Indian Brave could tell….again, it was time for things to pass…we didn’t understand….and again it was time to organize, write letters and move on…..
We turn the page and introduce a new mascot….we turn another page and now, we’re building a monster. The old press box is gone…oh, what stories the old press box could tell…again, it was time for it to pass….and again, it was time to organize, write letters and move on.
The north side of the stadium, totally different today from the day that Indian Stadium open. Back then, kids sliding down the hill on cardboard boxes…coming to a stop, just short of the back line of the end zone…eventually changes came and the kids and their cardboard boxes……this also pass and again we organize and write letters.
Presently, standing majestically on the north side of the stadium, a sign of our success….and in the future, more changes coming to that side of the stadium…and again, we organize, write letters and move on….
More to come.