June 23rd…“DID YOU EVER GO SKINNY DIPPING?”
Boy plus boy equals mischievous joy! That’s exactly the genre of fun that awaited for myself and the new friend I had met in the summer of 1965. Dirk was, to the best of my knowledge, a grandson to our farmer neighbors, Charlie and Mable Heitzeg. Dirk had come to enjoy some vacation on his grandfather’s farm that year and we enjoyed each other’s company immensely as we turned on our imaginations for fun times.
That summer was so full of excitement and mayhem. For one thing, Dirk loved to ride my pony, Little Lady. Sharing turns in her saddle, we saw many happy hours pass daily as we’d play Cowboys & Indians throughout the large, treed windbreak surrounding his grandfather’s farm. We’d climb to the upper reaches of the family’s wooden corn crib and pretend that that sturdy structure was our “cavalry fort”. From that wooden bulwark, we’d fend off hordes of imaginary savages that were clamoring for our blood. We’d shove our long stick “rifles” through the venting slats, of that edifice for drying field corn, and fire away until our imaginary enemies knew they’d had enough of our blazing lead and rode their Indian ponies off in retreat.
Sometimes, our blood and guts of little boy pretending became a reality. All was fun and games that day in the wooden corn crib until I decided to take an exiting leap from the tall structure to the ground below. While in my “flight” back to earth, I noticed a board on the ground with a long, pointed rusty nail protruding up into the air. It was too late for me to change course as my ankle-high tennis shoe connected with that vertical metal “spear”. The impact forced the nail right through the rubber sole of my shoe and deep into my foot. OWWWW!!!! When I picked up my stricken appendage, the board along with the nail came up off the ground, too. Stepping on the board with my “good” foot, I yanked the skewered member off of its attacker nail and could feel my socks filling with blood inside my gushy tennis shoe. Playtime for that day came to a quick end as I headed for our farm and medical attention from our mother who applied a poultice to help draw out any infection from that rusty nail.
With my foot happily healed, a more humorous adventure awaited us two little stinkers at Brush Creek. This gently-flowing stream meandered along the southern border of our family’s farm property and ran from west to east as it meandered its way, eventually, to the mighty Mississippi River. That flowing creek, over its lifetime, had cut itself deeply into the surrounding agricultural landscape, resulting in a type of topography where two conniving boys were able to “disappear” beneath its tall embankments. On one of those classically beautiful Minnesota days, Dirk and this Norwegian Farmer’s Son were having a grand time catching crawdads, tadpoles and enjoying the overall pleasures of mud, water and just being a boy. Being a normally humid Midwest summer, we minor males pulled off our shirts and had rolled up our blue jeans to the knees so we could enjoy the coolness of the creek water. One of us came up with the idea of, “Heyyy, why not peel off these blue jeans, too, and just go skinny dipping?!!!” So, off came the last vestige of human coverings and we guys were as naked as the day we were born.
There we were…..two brash, brazen and bare-bottomed boys frolicking in the creek while hidden from any cars or tractors that would pass over the nearby bridge. Fun and frivolity ensued until Dirk blurted out, “What happened to my jeans??? Where’d they go???” Poor Dirk!! His blue jeans had become a type of denim “submarine” that had submerged into the depths of that murky water and, for all we knew, were now possibly being carried by the current to the Mississippi River. Naturally, we were both becoming a bit frantic over this unfortunate incident. If Dirk had to go back to his grandfather’s farm NAKED, there’d be a ton of questions as to why and how this skin-exposed situation evolved in the first place. While visions of embarrassment, spankings and scoldings danced in our guilt-ridden minds, we reached deep down with our arms and legs sloshing from one side of that creek to the other in a radial searching for those underwater body coverings. Finally, one of us rose up with a happy holler, “I GOT ‘EM!!!!!” Both of us little nudists breathed a collective sigh of relief that we could finally go home to our respective farms that day in a respectfully acceptable way……….CLOTHED!!! 😉
Oh the skinny-dipping times of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son