Sunday, November 05, 2023

Tony and my Tree Switch Trick


Photo of me  & Tony Hester Scout Camping

I found out today my childhood friend Tony Hester died Saturday,  March 15, 2014.  I lived on Manget Street and he lived around the corner of  Glover Street.    We were very close friends.  Daily, one of us would ask the other "where are we going?"  or "What are we going to do today?"

I knew the way around  his grandfather's big farm in Smyrna almost as well as he did.  Seeing each other daily we had our run-ins and fights, but we being mad at each other lasted  usually less than an hour.

We played together from about the 2nd grade until the 8th grade.  Then his family bought a small farm in Kennesaw and after that we went to different schools and lost our closeness.    We went our separate ways.  Tony's father, Claude, had  a well productive garden, chickens and, a hog, and the family had an outhouse.  

When Tony grew up he went to work at Lockheed, got married, and had at least three children.  I read that in his obituary today.  I went to his mother's funeral home  visitation a couple years ago and he wasn't there,  he just left, but his two sisters and his uncle who I knew well, were there so I got to see them and recall our times.  His uncle worked with my father and lived at the base of Blackjack Mountain.  

Tony's  obituary listed his  two sisters' names, which brought back one memory in particular:

Behind Tony's yard, in an unused part of Larry Bell Park was some tall skinny trees that lined a gully.  Being the show-off that I was at that stage in my life, I told Tony and other friends playing with us that I could climb to the top of one tree and swing over to the other one, and then climb down on the tree I just swung over to.  I knew I could do it, because I  had done  it before,  when playing in the tree alone.   I climbed the small tree and at the top I started swinging.  I expect the tree to do like it did last time and lean way over to the other tree, where I would grab around it and let  lose my grip with my legs and be totally in the top of the new tree.  It did not work like that.  I got the tree swinging and top, with me in it, snapped off.  I fell a high distance and it knocked me out.  I was unconscious. 

Tony and others thought I was trying to fool them, that I was really just lying there with my eyes closed to see what they would do.  They told me to quit fooling around and get up. I just lied there.

They threatened that if I didn't get up they were going to take my clothes off and get Tony's two sisters to come  see me naked. 

They took off my clothes.  Tony got his wagon,  they put me in it and pulled me down to his house where his two sisters were playing in the back yard. Then they realized I was really knocked out or dead.

They pulled me in the wagon to my house.  Nobody was home.  We didn't lock doors back then.  They lugged me to my bed and left me.

I don't remember what my parents said when they came home.   I think I woke up about the time they starting having a fit, so I don't think they carried me to the doctor or the hospital or anything.

Ironically, my uncle W.C. Hunter did the same thing in his youth, swing at the top of a tree and latch onto a new tree and .... the treetop broke with him too, however he was unconscious for many months. 

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