Timing was the key to Running Away, Back in 1961...

I'm a kid, just eleven.  The year 1961. 

There are times I want to just run away, as most twelve year old boys threatening their parents would do. 

Threats of "following the rails" like a hobo.  All my worldly possessions wrapped in a bandana, tied to a long stick or getting on a boat and being deserted on an tropical island near the equator, away from everyone. Or going to the big city to meld into the surroundings, with lots of places to hide and lots of interesting friends to make. 

I haven't threatened my parents yet! I've kept my plan to myself. 

This is what I'd do if I run away. I've even started a survival kit for that special day. 

Hidden down in the basement behind the furnace, I started my kit. It includes a pen knife. I need a pen knife and a flashlight. I'm borrowing my fathers, he will never miss it. I keep checking, making sure the batteries still work, in the event I have to deploy my plan. It will get dark where I'm going.  

I hadn't planned yet on how am going to get to this special place. Would I take a bus? No.  Busses don't go there. Maybe I'll hitchhike. I'll decide when that day arrives. Having no money might influence my decision. Two nickels might not get me too far.

I need boots. I need a heavy winter coat. I need supplies to last a winter, food, blankets, seeds, matches. I'm planning on planting a garden.  I've got a spare toothbrush and a half roll of toilet paper. I was all packed. I could re-supply in the spring.

I saved all the maps that my father used on our driving trips. I knew where the Appalachian Mountains were. My dad called them the Bald Mountains. They were old mountains rounded, clear cut in spots nothing like the Canadian Rockies.  

I'll live in the bush, the mountains. I'll have raccoons and beavers for friends. Birds too! I'll live off the land, eating canned beans. I've studied which plants were edible. I know what poison ivy looks like, and I know what to do if I get a rash.

I don't want to think of bears and wolves, or being alone at night in the bush. 

I'll need a rifle. I've got my Roy Rogers replica and my B'B's all packed.  

Then I thought...

... there'd be no more ice cream, no more apple squares that my mum always brought home after work, no more riding my bike, I'll have to leave my pet hamster!

It's 2013, I wake up. I never did run away to the mountains, I was too much of a "frady-cat."  

I did run away though, about 18 years later, not to the mountains but to the big city. I did find a lot of places to thrive, not to hide and tons of interesting people.  I've never looked back, timing was the key needed.

Dog Brindle

1 comment:

Rea de Miranda said...

I ran away when I was 17 to live in the city. My mom still looked after me so that didn't help. I ran away every other week but just for a day. There were lots of places on a small farm to be away and alone. Never lasted into the night. I was scared of the dark. Delightful post Michael!