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They Were Creeping Up The Hill

Posted by djingodjango on Monday, September 12, 2011

Now, before I begin this reflective tale of poor actions as a youth, I must explain that the words "terrorist" and the date "9/11" were far into a murky future. 

I did what I did because I was pleased with rockets, explosions and loud booms. I was 16 at the time. Or 15. My wife would counter I was acting as a child around 3. 

As a teenager, my friends and I made and detonated pipe bombs, cardboard contained explosives (M80's) etc.

We used cut of match heads, or made our own gun powder, in which we combined certain parts of sulfur, saltpeter and charcoal; all of these items easily obtainable. Yes,  we were chemistry geeks.

Among other things defining our membership in the "Kingdom of Geek."; we were members of the Science Club and the Ham radio club.

We studied German independently after school with (I found out later) a gentleman who was a former member of the "Hitler Youth" during WW2. I later dated his sister.......that is a story for another time.

We practiced Zen and supported any leftist activity past or present.

I once wore and armband to school which proudly displayed the Cuban flag and was marked with the words "26 Julio".

I learned every song ever sung about the IRA and the Republican cause in Spain from 1936 to 1939.

But I digress.

One warm and pleasant fall weekend a bunch of the fellows and I met in the basement of my house and stuffed, poured and pounded gunpowder together to make several bombs, There were copper pipe bombs included, which we learned later wouldn't work so well because the copper pipe would split at the seams.

I was reminded of the "Gunpowder Plot" in England of 1605, in which a group of English Catholics planned to blow up the House of Commons, kill the king and planed several other jolly assassinations. Until they were caught.

All we wanted to do was make a lot of noise and maybe move a rock or two out in the woods.

When our munitions were completed we trooped off to an area about a mile or so away from any habitation and started exploding said items, whooping and laughing and hollering at each loud blast.

At one point we needed some more fuse, so I ran home to get some, (Jetex, the Rolls-Royce of bomb fuses!). I fumbled around in the cellar for a few moments and found a can of the cunningly coiled charge detonator.

Back I flew to my waiting comrades.

We were half-way up a hill filled with new growth birch, oak and maple and studded with many tumbles of granite stone. Some of these rocks we had managed to move, slightly.

As I ran up the path to the base of the hill, I stopped dead in my tracks. There, just ahead of me with their backs turned, were a half dozen or so of Laconia's finest men in blue. They were, for want of a better word, literally creeping up the hill. Guns were not drawn, but holster straps were unsnapped.

I carefully did a 180 degree turn, peering on the ground for any sticks or twigs which I might inadvertently step upon, and ran like a boy who's pants were aflame back to my house.

I waited and my heart beat was beyond racing and into the realms of "warping". Sweat trickled down my face and my back into my underwear. I saw the YDC (Youth Detention Center) in Manchester as my final destination. I was doomed.

The morning hours dragged by. I had lunch not speaking a word to my mother. No since in causing the poor woman grief until it was necessary. Meaning, when I heard the boots of the trooper on the front porch and his heavy hand banging on the door.

But. Lo and behold.

Nothing happened.

I heard later that the moment the police identified them selves, the lads scampered like so many cockroaches when the light is turned on.

They ran miles away and lay under houses, rocks, tree stumps, anything that offered a modicum of concealment.  No one was caught.

Burnt matches and shredded, singed cardboard were all that was left. I'm sure the police figured a good scare was enough.

It was. I never touched another explosive until I was 17 and at Ft. Dix, New Jersey doing some work for Uncle Sam.

Now those boys know explosives!

(C) 2011 George Locke


1 comment on “They Were Creeping Up The Hill”

mike gregory Says:
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @8:15:20 AM

There is something about a nice KaBLAMMM! that cheers the heart of the child within us.
And there is something to be said for the Wisdom of adults who do not expend taxpayer money tracking down miscreant who have done no real harm, and do not repeat the behavior. Putting a kid into an institution containing other kids, repeat offendersd, from whom he can learn more successful ways to behave criminally, seems to be in the Not A Great Idea category.

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