First, get some background on the cousins....
I have no desire to have my arms pulled out, which is what will happen if the cousins find out I’m telling stories about them. The stories are true, except I have changed the names and the places to protect me. I should be safe unless somebody tells them, because Elroy and Reggie only use the Internet for one thing, and it’s not reading. Read more »
I don’t have a story to go with the video, but I have a story about how I got the video.
A number of years ago I was with Elroy while he was bragging about parasailing in a corn field. They had found an old ripped up parachute in a barn and decided it would be “good fun” to parasail with it.
“Did you get a boat and go to the lake?” I asked.
“Nope,” Elroy answered. ”We took a pickup truck to a cut corn field. We tied a rope to the hitch and towed the rider around.”
“Isn’t it hard to hold on to the rope?” I asked.
“Paully,” Elroy answered. ”You can’t hold on to a rope when you are going 45 miles and hour. It would pull your arms out. Its much safer to tie it around your waste. Getting airborne was tough though. You can’t run fast enough to keep up with the truck so you get dragged a bit.”
I didn’t believe them. So we drove back to their house so they could show me the video tape. After we saw the video we all went into the kitchen for a beer. I went to use the bathroom but on my way through the living room I hit eject on the video player and took the tape. It was just too valuable to leave with them.
About a year later I got a call from Reggie. He said he wanted the video of the parasailing tape back. Of course, I said I didn’t have it. Reggie told me, “You were the last person we remember seein’ that video with. If we ever find out you have it we are going to pull your arms out.”
I’ve held onto the video for years.
[Paracousin: (Noun) A cousin with a backpack airplane engine and a parasail]
From time to time I like to go visit the cousins on rainy days when I hope they won’t be in the woods. If it’s wet enough you’ll have a good chance at finding them in their equipment repair shop. I always bring a case of beer. It doesn’t matter if the beer is cold or warm; they’ll drink it either way. It keeps them friendly and gives everyone a reason to sit and talk.
On one rainy Thursday, following a week of steady rain, I stopped by in the late afternoon. They were working on one of the big log trucks. One of them was in the engine and the other was working on the big log picker arm [I don’t know what you call it]. They were happy to have the company and pulled out a rolling bench for me to sit on. Elroy was very concerned about me getting grease on my nice clothes and found a clean seat for me, a mini fridge. [I wear my jeans, which might have a grass stain on them, but no grease].
We opened some beers, and did the normal catch up on work, family, local news, etc… when something caught my eye. In the back of the shop, resting on top of 4 oil barrels was a great big fan hooked to a gas engine. The blade was at least 6 feet in diameter. It was a straight blade, like something you might see on an airplane.
The High Jump
I was introduced to the high jump when I was about fourteen years old. From time to time our parents would take turns watching each other’s kids so that they could have some “adult time.” We were hosting the cousins at our house. We would sleep on the front porch. It was screened in, and back then the town basically went to sleep at ten o’clock. As you know, Reggie and Elroy were a bit more mischievous than my brother and me. It should come as no surprise that after our parents went to bed they wanted to go out and walk around town.
We headed down to the river, a short ten-minute walk. On the walk down, Reggie ducked into some bushes to pee. Elroy doesn’t like to wait, so we kept walking. A few minutes later we heard Reggie’s footsteps behind us. He was running. We all turned just in time to see Reggie, running at full speed, jump in the air from about six feet away. His momentum was carrying him right at Elroy. As he flew through the air, Reggie rotated 90 degrees becoming parallel with the ground.
Elroy caught Reggie like you’d catch a baby. It moved him back a step, but he cradled him in his arms, gently turning him and setting him down feet first on the ground.
If you haven’t been to a short-track car race you are missing out. A ¼ mile high-speed banked left-hand turn packed with growling mufflerless cars driven by aspiring Nascar drivers attended by the largest crowd of beer drinking rednecks you can find in one place [Except for maybe the county fair]. At our local track you’ll see three levels of cars ranging from the amateurs to the serious professionally sponsored big cars. The amateurs crash the most, making them the most fun to watch.
“Run What You Brung” is a special night where the rules on car safety are waved for people who are willing to enter a street legal car, sign a waver [You won’t sue them for the destruction of your car and/or your death, burning or dismemberment] and race each other in an almost rules free race. You have to wear a helmet and a real racing jump suit. You will see a mix of high-end sports cars, ‘pick-me-up trucks’, regular family cars, and occasionally a local favorite in a souped-up bread truck [It’s a real bread truck and he frequently wins]. Read more »
This one scares me a bit to post, but I think it’s important to get a glimpse of a softer side to Elroy. No story tells this side to him better than how he met his better half, Renee. They met in a very unique way.
Elroy was attending summer program at a small state college [It didn’t last, college wasn’t for him. To give him credit, Elroy paid his own way for what he tried.] He was having a few beers in his dorm the first time he saw her. She was very attractive. For some reason, Elroy thought she was “unsure” of herself, making her a target for his affection. [This means she didn’t know how pretty she was compared to how other people thought of her] He asked some of his male friends about her and Peggy [Peggy is a guy] told him that she was a bit of a head case. At the time, he had enough problems of his own (starting college) so he didn’t pursue her. Read more »