Before XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 and laptops and IM there were Cowboys and Indians. No one stayed in their house or their bedroom all day playing with some device, shut out from the world. Night was an inconvenience that got in the way of fun, activity, romping through the woods and discovering new places to play. We were born for activity. We had three channels on our TV sets and they signed-off around 1 PM or before and didn’t sign back on until sometime in the morning.
Night time became of interest to us as we grew older and could drive or knew somebody who could drive. Then we could prolong our days and explore more things to get into. Only then we were teens so the things we explored grew more complex and mischievous.
One of our early games we played was Cowboys and Indians. Robby and Joey would invariably be the cowboys because the cowboys always won and they were the older brothers. Gary and Dwayne and myself would make up the indians. They had cowboy hats, holsters and so forth and we had head bands with feathers and bows with arrows. The pursuit was on. Many times we played in our grandparent’s pasture next door. It was a huge open field fenced-in with many possibilities for hiding, playing, shooting, etc.
The only time I really remember a specific incident was after we had finished playing one day. My brothers climbed out of the pasture, up a bank that was beside a creek and onto the road. They went to the other side of Olive Branch Road to look at the creek from that angle. I was attempting to make my way up the embankment. I slipped and fell into the creek. I fell head first and my head landed on a sharp rock that was pointing upward. It knocked a pretty good size dent in my forehead. I climbed out of the creek, up the embankment and walked up the drive. The entire front of my body was covered in blood. Mother saw me coming up the hill. I remember riding in the car to the hospital, sitting in the front seat with a towel about my head. We had no child seats and didn’t use seat belts in those days. Mother said she looked into the emergency room and all she saw was a sheet over a little boy with a hole in it at the head. Apparently it was a frightening scene. We came home and I don’t really remember the aftermath of that event. It healed. The doctor said that if the hole had gone about 1/16” deeper that it would have killed me. I have a scar on my forehead today from that incident. It is amazing that we didn’t get killed at an early age. We played hard and we played w/o safety in mind.