RURAL YOUTH MADE SUMMER PLANS

195


-By Orv Alveshere-

ENAMORING EVENTS AND PERHAPS SOME TEARS
On the last day at small country schools there was a celebration
Buzzing with laughter. Most would return. For some it was graduation.
An assortment of bikes, cars, riding ponies, horse-drawn buggies and carts,
Picnic baskets, treats, giggles and waves as the last youth departs.
Hoping for clear, sunny weather, parents and siblings joined in the fun.
Elders reminisced of their school days and tall tales were spun.
Halloween pranks recalled with penalties suffered by the stunt man.
Comeuppance stories with warnings not to imitate such a dunce plan.

FUN TIME, SUN TIME, PUN TIME
A friend would do their chores when they had the wanderlust syndrome;
Travel to relatives, sight seeing, visiting cities…just to leave home.
Thoughts of free time, less hustle and many more mornings to sleep,
Jubilees and July fireworks with the best seat in a topless Jeep.
Shopping was on their list, rodeos, horse races, county fairs,
Picnics in parks, museums, reunions, time to put curlers in their hair.
Seventh and eight graders studied back in the mid-cent’ry time span;
Completed State Tests before they could execute their fun summer plan.

PETS AND PET PEEVES
They’d pet calves and lambs, watch frolicking colts, sitting on a rail;
Puppies, kittens, baby birds amuse, and oh joy, the chicks are in the mail.
Time spent feeding those yellow duplicate, energetic chicks,
The repetitive anguish of trying to teach cattle dogs to do tricks.
Youth used pitchforks in hay harvest, canned fruit from wild berry picking,
Explored homesteads and pastures, and enjoyed being alive and kicking.
Snaring gophers, weeding gardens, tested their attention span,
Picking wild flowers, mixing summer fun with chores in their summer plan.

CALENDARS AND SPORTS REPORTS
Hearing that time flies when having fun, they’d ask, is it Monday?
Work horses were beasts of burden for six days, but at half-past Sunday,
Horses magically became pleasure ponies. Youth that were older,
Trained colts, graduating to frisky colts as they became bolder.
More time was spent with Mom and Dad, Gramps and Granny, and just for kicks,
They’d ask an adult, or favorite hired hand, to teach them lasso tricks.
Some had the privilege of sports or youth baseball. For the sports fan,
Rumors of Babe Ruth baseball league were discussed, and hopefully planned.

CUISINE VARIETIES PLANNED
Some youths would spend a special week with their Cousins, Uncles and Aunts.
Some would celebrate birthdays and dine at their favorite restaurants.
Vacation Bible School, fund-raisers, and Ladies Aid food to buy,
Eager young eyes would choose dishes and enjoy a new kind of pie.
Some would smoke meat underground.
They’d construct a playhouse of railroad ties,
Stacking to make a pretend retreat or structure of youth size.
They’d walk to neighbors or do trail rides with them.
Barn waste would hit the fan
If youth overstayed and delayed some scheduled parental plan.

JOVIALITY AND MONKEYSHINES
Trips with Dad, climb in lumberyards, grain elevator stops, check hay bales,
Or a horse, or drill, or some item advertised in want ad sales.
Outdoor weddings occurred and fiftieth celebrations, miles away,
‘Let the fun times roll’ as watermelon and ice cream made their day,
Cakes, store bought hot dogs and ten trays of perfectly matched green Jello.
We’d shred carrots, dice celery…our dish looked the same, only yellow.
Adults relaxed in the shade, compared crops, tractors and the hired man.
They talked horses, livestock market prices and trying a new Ag plan.

POOLING ENTERTAINMENT PLANS
Warned we couldn’t ride their horses, maybe see their barn hayloft.
One huge barn I recall had mind-bending dimensions, they were well off.
(In contrast to Gramp’s self-designed gravity-feed barn, where his hay…
Was stored in the center on ground floor.
We could swing on ropes, jump and play.)
In that hayloft were teen boys with drivers permits…
waiting for some Miss… Or teenage girls to appear.
Why? Those lads had hoped to steal a kiss.
The told us to get lost, go pitch horseshoes, jump rope or kick the can.
We heard exuberant whoops, hollers and squeals.
We’d check out a new plan.

TO BRAY OR NOT TO BRAY, THAT IS THE QUESTION?
We checked the noise. Outside we saw a small round slough.
Inviting? You bet!!
Six youths, stripped to their skivvies, were wading, splashing and getting wet.
One lad jumped in the pond wearing glasses and watch (on his left hand).
His watch stopped!! He moaned!! He heard the quip, ‘that was a goofy plan’.


© Copyright 6-2008, all rights reserved by Orv Alveshere

Orv Alveshere, an award-winning writer of humorous cowboy poetry and stories, “grew up hanging on a horse.” He writes about his lifetime of adventures.