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Friday, November 27, 2009


Dirt Clod Combat

Nothing like growing up as a young boy in the mid 1950’. What a great time to be free and roaming among the 50’s gods. Now the gods were Elvis, Jerry Lee and various girl groups. Who could care about school, politics, work and any house hold duties? It was summer and all were free.

Nothing captivates a boy’s imagination more than a good war game. After all, we won the war, beat the japs and krauts and the Lone Ranger controlled the west. Three months of summer was a lifetime for the gang and we intended to enjoy each day.

Now of course, dirt clods were the closest relative to a hand grenade that god ever invented. Combat the TV. Show always showed the heroes throwing grenades to the krauts and the large explosion and smoke would cover the enemy.

Well, we had our own enemies. Dirt clods for those uneducated, were mud which dried due to various reasons creating hard, dust covered clods which were the weapon of choice for the die hard combat fans of the Oakdale Gang. Life would not have been complete without an arsenal of the clod weapons. Of course, we never lack enemies, or targets of the clod attack.

The summer of about 1958 included three full months of vacation from the daily grind of school. Oakdale Park was a fair quality, trailer park including our motel and large Oakdale Pool. The heat of summer was something like the Mohave Desert due to lack of air conditioning and invention of the window fan. Our summer oasis was the oscillating fan cooling my sister and I in our pool of sweat in our shared bedroom. But that is another story.

Back of the dirt clods. That eventful summer, a mysterious fire occurred among fallen trees in the Park. As luck would have it, the aftermath of the fire was large amount of roots with hardening clods. This was manna to the boys of the park. War began early that summer. The enemy varied between enemy trucks, cars, kids on bikes, stray dogs, cats and even some of the older neighbors. Remember, nothing was more exciting that the explosion of the clods against the side of a house, truck or car and the eventual escape of the army of boys. We were inventive and placed a firecracker inside the moist clod to create larger explosion of a German grenade.

During one of the wars, we cornered our enemy against the small house of Ms. Carpenter. Now Ms. Carpenter was 103 and the image of the wicked witch of the west in OZ. Now the poor woman must have been frail and ill., but to the wild bunch the enemy was cornered on her porch and could not be allowed to escape. The free world depended upon our success.

Fortunately, the large hole of the fallen tree offered an unending supply of the great dirt clod weapons. We managed to surround the enemy and open our barrage of the house. Little did we know that Ms. Carpenter was in the small house and under the same siege?

Even Sir Winston Churchill could not have withstood such an emotional attach. The tin roof of the house warped and rolled with every volley of the clod attaches. The enemy was cowered on the porch and could offer only token resistance. They made a futile attempt to entice Heir Carpenter to admit them, but the broom swatted the vermin back to the porch. Our barrage continued.

I suppose the breaking of glass finally slowed the attack. The slain enemy offered a white flag and marched to our line of battle in complete and utter surrender. However, Ms. Carpenter mounted the broom and beat the hell out of us for what seemed an eternity.

Somehow the Young parents did not gain sight of the embarrassing defeat. Unusual, in that the war occurred within feet of our back door in mid day. I have always assumed Mom did not have the guts to wade into such a clod attack. She was always shrewd in the ways of war.

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