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Carl’s hijinx.

July 7, 2016


What I did last summer

For Sophomore English CompositionBud's Ducks

September 20, 1938

by Carl R. Bonde, Jr.

Daddy and Mummy took me and my sisters Crummy and Hummy to Glacier Park on holiday.  On our way there we stopped for elephants, to ride them, and to chase a few grizzly bears.  I chased a grizzly bear into the lake where the water hung over our heads like an atmosphere.

The sun shined brightly all summer except for when it rained and it rained all the time, every day.

That is what I did last summer.  That was the first day.  After that we had a picnic, caught a fish, made a camp, slept out a night, picked a vegetable, peeled a squash, bled a beet, fed the dog, fed the chickens.

After that I got back to high school and wrote a 100 word essay about what I did last summer.

The End

Carl R. Bonde, Jr.’s high school junior year

November 2, 1939

Carl turned over in bed after peering at his alarm clock. Eleven-fourteen. Worse luck! He had forgotten to wind it again. Carl had a pretty good idea of the time. He had heard his older sister Carol clumping downstairs in her fashionable shoes. Jeez it was colder than a brass toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg! Their bedrooms were upstairs, unheated, freezing, except for whatever came up the long straight stairs. In the basement was the oil drum furnace that heated the air for the register in the living room. The house smelled like pine smoke in the winter. Winter in Kalispell seemed to last all year.

He pulled the wool quilt to his chin. He could see his breath in the dim light of morning. The windows were fingernail thick with frost. ‘Carol will take at least half an hour in the bathroom,’ he thought. He had to pee. Other mornings he would go downstairs, run out the kitchen door and take a leak against one of the trees. That day was damn cold.

Carl pulled the coffee can from under the bed, got up, pissed, pushed it back under, jumped back under the covers. Just a little piss on his underwear. Didn’t matter what he did after he peed, some urine always dribbled out. Got a little on the linoleum floor.

Anyhow, he got almost warm again after thrashing his legs back and forth a couple of times. Not as warm as he needed to get, so he got up, pulling on a couple of layers of clothes. Long handles, then denim pants lined with flannel. Socks. Shoes.

His parents were up and his mom had fixed oatmeal. He wanted a cigarette, so he hunkered over the heat close to where his dad sat in his overstuffed chair and lit up. Good thing he was wearing shoes because the grille was apt to cut into his bare feet. He loved talking about hunting with his dad. They would certainly go out next weekend. The light snow made stalking deer easy.

Author’s note: Carl’s sexual preference was ambiguous. One of those who signed his year book was a boy who wrote, “Dearest Carl.” Another advised him to “Leave the wimmin alone.” For the sake of more fun, we can suppose he was gay. In 2010, I asked Carl’s army buddy, Bill Moomey, if Carl had a sweetheart somewhere, but apparently he didn’t. Bill just said, nope. Bill told me about a gay sailor he encountered on the USS George Washington in November, 1944. Bill said at that time, it was his first exposure to an openly homosexual man. That tends to rule out that Bud, who he had known intimately through nearly a year of rigorous outdoor infantry training, was gay.

He had a propensity for clowning, disrupting — the usual stuff of high school boys. Carl later scored near genius on an army intelligence test.

Carl walked through light snow to high school down to the dirt road, then four blocks more. He was on time, as usual, but he didn’t care if he hadn’t been. He knew that his sisters had been high achievers in high school. Band, orchestra, excellent grades, after school jobs. Buddy had no time for that. He liked to hunt and fish. He was applying to work as a fire lookout in Glacier Park.

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