Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 16th

February 16th, 1973: Tonight, I stayed at a friends house. And dad told me to have a good time. Then he broke down.

February 16th, 2013: The junior high school days. It was pretty common for friends to get together outside of school and stay over at a buddy's house every once in awhile. Shooting pool, throwing darts, building model cars. In the summertime, we'd camp out, and run wild through the neighborhoods. The street lights had sensors on them. They'd come on at dusk, off at dawn. A good, solid kick to the base of the pole would "confuse" the sensor and shut them off for five minutes or so at night. This was a fun activity in Pittsfield at the age we were. If one ran fast enough, you could kick enough poles to darken a whole block. We were easily amused.

I was friends with lots of people. But Rick Alspaugh and Donnie Bradburn were two of my best buddies back then. And as goes with junior high school, comes drama. The silly part of the friendship with those two, is that rarely, could all three of us be friends at the same time. One of us was always "on the outs" with the other two. I know we'd laugh about it now.

Rick Alspaugh, left, and Kent. 1972
It's almost certain that it was one of those two pals houses, where I spent a night, hanging out. And it was probably set up by Ron and Barbara Bradburn, or Dick and Sue Alspaugh. Four of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. That's how folks operated. People stepped up to help other people. This stay over was probably arranged more for the benefit of mom and dad, to give them some time together, without me around. And less for the benefit of Donnie or Rick and me.

Dad was about to go into the hospital, and have a long grind ahead of him, with treatments.

The exact details are fuzzy. Bradburns or Alspaughs came to pick me up. Or mom drove me over to one of the homes. As I got ready to leave, dad said to have a good time, and then began crying again. Mostly likely, it upset me to see him upset. And I probably left the house in tears too.

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