This is My story - And I'm sticking to it!

There is just no way I'm going to ever tell my story and be Denny 2.  Denny One will be hereafter called Ding-Ding and his brother will be called Ding.  The reason for the name is a dose of reality that often sneaks up on my subconscious.  The Ding brothers lived up the street from us and their father had mounted a ship's bell right outside of the front door of their house.  When Their mom wanted to have the older son come in, she would go to the bell and ring it one ding at a time slowly for a couple of minutes.  Ding,  Ding,  Ding would go the bell and he would be called home for some duty to perform.  If Denny 1 was needed (Yes, I did say I wouldn't call myself Denny 2 but some clarity is needed as this is my story) she would ring the bell Ding-Ding, Ding-Ding slowly and Denny 1 would run home.   If their mom went to the bell and just rang it ding after ding for a couple of minutes, everyone ran home. 

For some reason, I can't remember when the Ding's moved into the house just up the street.  What I do remember is that one day that corner lot started to get filled up with some of the most incredible junk.  Their father was a not a collector, just an accumulator.  One of the first things I remember is the old Chevy Cab over Pop truck that started the collection.  It never had any pop in it there next to their house but it was a great place to sit and play drive the truck all over town.  I don't remember ever having anyone tell us to "Get the hell out of there, and stay out." Must have been OK for us to drive that truck in our playing.  I don't have a clear memory of the truck being used for storage as the doors that slid up and down one the back were way too heavy for small kids to lift. 

Not long after the truck showed up, the place took on the look of a junk yard as large wooden shipping Containers began to show up.   I knew their Dad was a security Guard at Boeing and he loved to haunt the salvage/disposal yard nest to the plant.  There were wooden boxes of every size from one that maybe held a small electric motor to one the size of a shed.  God only knows what was in that as it came to Wichita from Seattle.  If you know that the plant there was in Kent or Renton, good for you.  All I know is that with a small alteration a large box became a storage shed for more stuff liberated from the bowels of the salvage yard.

The father, AL (Ding to protect the guilty) loved to hunt with his coon dogs.  He had a couple that were kept in a pen and fed a horrible concoction of Day old bread and eggs that had not passed the candle test.  It would almost gag a a maggot to see moldy bread get mixed with imperfect eggs with streaks and blobs of whatever in there.  There was always a bucket and a stick that was used to first mix the mess up and then fed to the dogs.  The dogs never tried to escape when there was food to be had.  They would just bark that bark they used when they had a coon on the run.  Then with their bellies filled to capacity, they would find a place to lie in the sun and digest that mess.  Those dogs were the best looking coon hounds I'd ever seen and never acted aggressive to people.

A couple of times when the hounds needed to get out and do some hunting, I would be invited to a late night run down on the Ninnesca River and the dogs would be let out of the truck and set to run after the scent of a coon or two.  In the summer when I would go with them, we would not kill the coons, only let the dogs chase them until they treed one. The boys would run after the dogs and listen to where they went.  It was always kind of fun to imagine where they would go nut it was easy to find them.  I did see a few fights where the coons would do something dumb and get caught but mostly the hunt would end with the dogs running around the base of a tree and our flashlights would spot the shinning eyes of a coon way up in the tree looking down at us as if they wanted the dogs to just shut up and go away.  The kids would drag the dogs back to the truck for the ride home.  I'm not sure what Al did other than drive the truck back and forth.  As I recall, he wasn't a drinker that just sat in the truck and drank.  There were a lot of drunks in my neighborhood so I would know a drunk if I smelled one

For some reason, the Dings had an old female cur show up and rather than chase her off or take her out on a hunt an leave her somewhere they let her stay.  She didn't seem to eat much and because of her ratty fur, no one paid much attention to her.  That all changed when she got the mange and large patches of her fur began to fall out and man did she ever start to stink and look bad.

My Dad a and I built a shed in our back yard that we built from an old half of a barn we tore down at his mother's.  It turned out to be a pretty nice shed and only a part of this story.  Dad bought a bundle of shingles  for the roof of his shed and somewhere a big pot of roofing tar showed up.  Dad took that tar and some cut up shingles and made a roof cap right down the middle of the roof.  It worked well but while he was doing it he had some of that tar drip in his hair.  He produced a can of "Coal Oil"  and he used it to get the tar out.   I can remember that he made quite a deal about that stuff curing his dandruff.  Back then he just used a soap bar to wash his hair and he was always flaking dandruff on his shirt. 

One day I mentioned to Ding-Ding that coal oil seemed to really do the trick in curing Dad's dandruff. What a novel idea, would it cure mange on an old dog?  Not being the brightest bulbs in the pack, experimentation seemed to be in order.  If coal oil would do good things, perhaps gasoline would do a better job.  Ding-Ding got a small tin can full of gasoline and poured it on that poor old unsuspecting dog's bald places.  It was as if the hounds of hell broke loose and she commenced to bark, snarl and run in circles.  Thank god there was a big old box there in the yard for us to climb up on.  We escaped the barking biting and soon foaming at the mouth.  She ran around that box for what seemed like forever.  We were trapped there like one of those coons we would find up in the tree. 

After about 10 minutes or so, that old dog just laid down and seemed to fall asleep.  I asked Ding-Ding if he thought we had killed her.  He said,  "Nah, she just ran out of gas."

Now that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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