Law Dogs and Coyotes


Brent and I had two particularly favorite spots out at the Mississinewa Reservoir. They are both gone. One, that we called the circle of stone, was smashed and broken; the other, a shelter house with a fireplace, sitting at the top of the hill above the cliffs, was burnt to the ground. We took it pretty personal and those responsible, whomever they may be, were readily cursed on numerous occasions.

I was thinking today about the shelter house, fully aware that Hallowe’en is closing in. I remember a night spent there, one All Hallow’s Eve, in the mid-80s, with a big old orange moon hanging above the skeletal trees and an owl calling out nearby and coyote howling in the distance.

Brent had built a fire and we’d circled up the picnic tables into a crescent around its warmth.

We were drinking Little Kings, 2 liter bottles of California Cooler, and there was a hot thermos filled with some kind of warm pumpkin-spiced rum getting passed around.

Someone (whose name, I think, rhymed with Rob Greeman) brought along a guitar, Ouija Board, and tarot cards (not to mention a ghost story or two). It was a perfect evening. Guys with girlfriends huddled under blankets to stay warm, those without joined the coyotes howling at the moon.

We laughed, smoked, drank, and did our level best to scare each other half to death…

And then the cops came and the scares became real (sort of)

We could see their lights from way back, but they weren’t roaring their sirens, thinking they’d sneak up on us. But we were too clever for all that and we made our escape, Those with cars drove down by the boatramp where there was a turnaround and, waiting for the county sheriffs make the turn up the hill, snuck around the backside and headed for greener pastures.

Others of us headed into the woods and waited the law out, giggling back in the deep dark until the law dogs and COs got bored and left.

Once the coast was clear, we returned to our festivities. And eventually, people started slowing coming back in and we spent the rest of the night in peace.

It was a fine night. I was reading people’s fortunes and tempting all kinds of fate, but we were immortals then and demi-gods to boot. We knew no fear and life was bloody good.

That’s what being young is all about, care-free and bulletproof.

I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to be a blooming idiot with :)

We shook the pillars of heaven.


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