A little boy a long time ago.

I was a lonely little boy growing up on the Prairie, 17 miles north of the nearest town. My folks were 42 and 41 when I was born. The nearest kids my age were 5 miles to the southwest. One was a little older, a girl and one was a little younger, a boy. What a time we 3 had when we got together. I was so used to being by myself however that when I got tired my mom said I would ask her if they could go home now as I wanted to take a nap. I can remember asking my mom and dad that all I wanted for Christmas was a little brother to play with. This of course didn’t happen for reasons easier to understand today.

The other kids I played with when I was small were my cousins, but they lived about 10 miles away so it was not too often I got to go there. My folks worked very hard to just stay afloat on the farm, with my mother working like a man. They were both very busy and I was by myself much of the time. I entertained myself with my Dad’s “True Detectives” magazines(which gave me the willies) and TV(we had a total of 3 channels). I read many books and had hunting and fishing expeditions with my imaginary Grandpa who was long dead before I was born.

Kristy and Robbie

Being limited with the amount of youngsters around I grew very close to my cousins and of course to the 2 neighbor kids. I and the boy next door became good friends and we did many things together. We hunted gophers with our 22’s and took delight in taking the water truck and putting the hose down the gopher holes to get them to the surface. We went deer hunting with our dads and played King of the Mountain on the haystacks. All of this before we were 12 years old.

Younger Russ Crites playing with neighbors and dog

here we got the Dawg…

My friend had a tragic accident on his farm when he was only very young. We had been wrestling that very morning in school and somehow my elbow went through a window in the classroom. Needless to say we stayed after school that night. When he went home that evening the accident happened. This was my first experience with the death of a close friend. There were no counselors at the school for us kids. I can remember going to the funeral and out to the graveyard. I can remember going over and touching the casket and crying. Much harder to understand a young person passing.

I still remember your smile and laughter, my Friend after all these years. The Greeks have a saying “That even the Green Leaf sometimes falls from the Tree” that is very true, even the young are taken away. I learned I need to appreciate all of those around me..

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