Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finding gold

I was almost rich once. I was as close as you are to the computer screen right now. Yeah, that close. It was enough gold to support me and my descendants in the lap of luxury for a decade of lifetimes to come. I missed it by just that much.

Being 12 years old was a wonderful time, especially during the summer when the world is more accessible because you don't have to go to school. Waking up at 4:00am, washing up, grabbing my bicycle, picking up and folding the morning papers and then delivering them to my customers took two and a half hours. Fixing a bowl of cereal or a couple slices of toast and eating them only ten more minutes, my chores another half hour and the rest of the day was all mine to do with what I wanted. One particularly bright and shiny Monday morning in June I met my buddy Jim down by the local neighborhood grocery store, Ben and Goldies to purchase supplies for the day's adventure: Lunch meat, a loaf of bread, worms, fishing line, bobbers and hooks took care of our basic needs. Jim bought a compass for a nickle. We knew every inch of where we were going but compasses are interesting anyways. We took off on our bikes going like sixty, we were on a mission, a mission to become rich beyond our wildest dreams.

About two and a half miles from where we lived was a wilderness area, (to us anyway) filled with the unknown. We had been there often but there was never enough time to explore it properly up to that point. It was the hills and fields surrounding the old Pikric acid plant that had been built to provide explosive chemicals for bombs during world war two. The legend had it that when the war ended they tore everything down except the two huge, towering, red brick smoke stacks for the smelting ovens. Bricks, cement, tiles and steel from the old building were bulldozed into the surrounding landscape. Jim and I along with several other friends had scoured the area many times before and found a lot of really cool stuff: An old army helmet, a bent up knife, some old pot, pans, bottles, wire, broken glass and what looked to be a rusty old pistol. All of which helped us to believe there was other great and valuable treasure to be found. This day, Jim and I were sure we were going to find it. The guy at the Army surplus store had let it slip about the gold when we were there buying rabbit traps.

I actually have to go right now. I'll finish this as soon as I can..............Joe

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