Bell Gang Reunion - bits and pieces 2007
I went to the Bell Gang Reunion today. I went alone, Anna had some shopping that needed to be done.
Last year was the first year I went. Last year, I was unsure if I should go or not because I was afraid of running into my old bully arch enemy Vernon. I went and Vernon wasn’t there. Years ago in grammar school Vernon was a bully and loved to pick on me. Like a fool, I took it like a dormant tree stump. Then, I had a friend, Frankie who went to Catholic school. Frankie had a hot temper and several times we got into fights and each time I whipped his ass.
Then at Larry Bell Park Swimming pool one day Vernon picked on
Frankie. Frankie lost his temper which came to no surprise to me. What did surprise me was that Frankie whipped Vern’s ass.
Hmmm. Frankie could whip Vern’s ass and I could whip Frankie’s ass. So, why was I letting Vern pick on me? I purposely sought Vern out at the pool the next day and walked by him, waiting for him pick on me. My fists were doubled up and I was ready to let him have it. He didn’t say anything. He never picked on me again.
Today at the Bell Reunion I reminded Vern how he used to pick on me and when I saw Frankie whip him I was ready to do likewise. Vern laughed and said, “Well, it is a good thing I didn’t pick on you anymore.” He is one of the friendliest people you would want to meet. His picture is above.
I saw many old high school friends. Some I remembered and some remembered me then I remembered them – and some we just looked at each other blankly. Age wise, this reunion covers about a 12 years or more. So, there were some people that came and gone before you were in school, and some you came and gone before they went to Marietta High School.
It was very enjoyable to see old heads you forgot existed… and some I just couldn’t place – I tried to visualize them without the wrinkles and sagging jaws, but just couldn’t connect them.
Also there was my old friend Monty. I have mentioned Monty and my antics many times on my blog. We were very good friends. Then after our Navy times, when we would cross paths on the Square at concerts we would did not speak. I guess I was just timid. I changed a lots since then. I am a different person, so I was unsure how to act around him – be like I used to be? Or more sincere without a wit? And another thing that held me back was we looked each other in the eyes during many concerts in the past few years and he didn’t speak either. Today he told me why: He didn’t recognize me. Not only have I changed inward, but outward as well - facial and hair changes. Anyway, today we had long talk and caught each other up on our family that we each have had since we ran around together. He also told me he reads my blog and told me how to get to his two websites (one with music). But I forgot – if he reads this I hope he emails me (firstname.lastname@example.org) his sites' addresses. I took his picture but it snapped at an awkward moment, so it will not be published here.
I was told Neal was the little 2 year old boy that was with my sister who was 3 years at the time in 1941 when they both saw a train run over a man while they were out playing. That little 2 year old boy now has a long white beard.
Dick saved my life one time. His family and my family, as a kid, would go to Sweet Water Creek every year to celebrate their son Eddie’s birthday and my birthday, which were only one day apart. One time, in the creek I stepped off into an underwater current and it swept me away. Dick and my father dove in and pulled me out.
The food was good. They had pork barbecue, barbecue chicken, heavenly baked beans with hunks of bbq pork, Brunswick Stew, hot dogs, beer, and I don’t know what all.
It was held, like every year, behind the Horace Orr American Legion, one block up the 4-Lane, and one block west of the Big Chicken.