January 31, 2015 – The Naked Jogger and the Lost Wanderers

Yes it is true, at one point there was a naked jogger in our little community.  In about 1985 or so give or take a few years the town was putting in new sewers. At times the lovely ladies of the block would sit on Sues porch and watch the young fit men working on the street – Shultz Construction as I remember..  That part was fun but not fun was when they were working on the main road and cars were detoured through out little streets. They drove the regular speed limit not realizing that our kids were use to playing in the streets. (I wish I were home as I have pictures of this event to add to the  blog later.)

We were very upset and the group of us sat down and and developed a plan to try and slow down the drivers.  We did not think “slow down children at play” would work but a nude jogger might get their attention.  At our house we had this huge doll that was lifesize. We thought she would be perfect. Stripped of her clothing with a sign a few feet before she showed up might get the drivers attention all the time.  Time was spent getting her in proper balance and a good sign made with the kids watching and thinking we had lost our minds.

Then some smart person decided that in the afternoon when the drivers were speeding down the street having a 3 or 4 year old nude jogger might really get their attention. So with a big sign at the start of the street we had young MIchael running up and down the block, on the side so not to be in danger, and getting tons of attention. Don’t know what the drivers thought but we had a grand laugh over it.  I suppose in this day and age we would have been arrested for child abuse but at the time it was pretty darn funny.  The doll was up for days but Michael only ran the streets one day.

After the fun I imagine we all went over to Sues for some of her good brownies.

Those were the kinds of days we had repeatedly in our neighborhood  For children it was a great place to be There were parents watching during the day and every one felt safe.  And lots of wonderful places to play and have adventures.

One particular day either a vacation day or maybe it was summer, Ian and Joe, best friends from the get-go, decided to go and play in the woods. We let them go back by the pet cemetery but usually they did not go far.  The day went by and from time to time I would wonder why they were not back but figured they were making a fort or something and had lost track of time.  Around dinner time we really started to get nervous so sent some of the bigger kids out to the woods looking for them. They came back that they did not see or hear them anywhere.

Now the anxiety was raising. It was getting late and would soon be dark and we decided maybe we should call the police.  There were streams down further and we had no idea where they might have gotten to.  The neighbors were all out in the street by Carol and Sues houses thinking about what we should do next. All of a sudden someone called out, “here they come”.  We looked up and here they were strutting down the street as calm and easy as ever.   ‘Where have you two been all this time?’ from both the mom’s.  They told everyone the story of going into the woods and deciding to follow one of the trails to see where it would go. Well, it went under Route 7 and down towards the Mohawk River. They had a wonderful time following the water and seeing all kinds of interesting things as they wandered along. They were never lost so they said but even so they did find their way back.

After feeding them both families made it clear to them that taking off at their age, maybe 8-10, was not a good idea since we were very worried about them.  I cannot at this moment remember if the police were called and were they there when the two young fellows came out of the woods but we were all relieved with the outcome.  I think that was the story of the lives of those two young boys, they were wanderers with great imaginations and a lust for life. They have ad each visited.  Today was about stories, puzzles, make believe and naps. We had a great taco dinner and then more story telling, sign language stories, drawling and fun… Tomorrow will be what it will be.

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