Sunday, July 24, 2016

Last Day In West Virginia

Hello future readers!

Well Vivienne and I slept until about 8:30 on Saturday morning. That felt really good because we've been getting up early all week!

Vivienne woke me up and wanted to know if I wanted to watch Saturday morning cartoons. Outta site! I love Saturday morning cartoons!

When we went downstairs to the kitchen, Mrs. Walton was fixing us a tray to take into the rec room so we could eat while we watched television. She said Vivienne always takes a tray in there about this time every Saturday morning. Next to my mom, Mrs. Walton is the grooviest mom there is!

We watched "Speed Buggy", "Sigmund & The Sea Monsters", "Scooby Doo" and "The Bugs Bunny-Road Runner Show". And we sang along to Schoolhouse Rock's: Verb! That's What Happening!"

                                                             I love Trix cereal!

At 11:30, Mrs. Walton kicked us outta the rec room, and told us to get dressed and go outside and play. Vivienne wanted to take out her scooter, and I wanted to  roller skate.

But Vivienne gave me a turn on her scooter too!

We had been playing for almost an hour when Kevin came over.

"Hey, do you girls wanna go fishing?", he asked.
"Just us? Where are C.J. and Betta?", Vivienne wanted to know.
"C.J.'s spending the day with his friend Bobby McIntire today, and my mom has to do some shopping and other stuff, so Betta's watching Little G.  So do you wanna fish or not?" Vivienne and I just looked at each other.
"C'mon, I'll even cook'em and we could have a picnic. What do you say?"
"Would we have to bait our own hooks?", I asked, making a face.
"Nah, I know how girls are about squirmy things like worms. I'll bait the hooks for ya."
"OK, you've got yourself a deal", Vivienne told him.
"Groovy. Meet me at Harlan's Pond in an hour. See ya then." He turned and walked back to his house.
"Hey Julie, let's bake some cookies to snack on while we're fishing."
"Yeah, far out! And I also wanna cook up a surprise for Kevin to get even for the spider on my back."
"Really? What do you have in mind?", Vivienne wondered.
"Something really good", I said, rubbing my hands together. "Something that will make Mr. Kevin Fleagle think twice before he plays any tricks on me again."
We went back in the house and told her mom about fishing, and asked if we could bake cookies. She told us that would be fine.  So we got to work.

When the cookies were ready, we packed them in a Tupperware container,we grabbed Mr. Walton's fishing pole from the hall closet, and my little surprise and headed out to Harlan's Pond. When we got there I was surprised at how beautiful it was. It looked like something out of  Huckleberry Finn.

When we got there, we found Kevin sitting on the bank with his dog Barkley.

"Hi Kevin, we're here!", we called.

While I offered Kevin a cookie, Vivienne put my little surprise in Kevin's tackle box. It was really hard not to laugh, 'cos I knew this was gonna be good!

"Want a cookie, Kevin?" I offered. "Vivienne and I just baked them."
"Oh no you don't! I remember what happened the last time you girls offered me a cookie. I'll pass, thanks."
" Fine, that leaves more for us. Let's just  fish, OK?
"OK, Julie, you can use C.J.'s pole."
"Great! Thanks,"
"Hey Kevin, remember you said you'd bait our hooks?"
"Yeah, yeah. Boy, are you girls ever squeamish. I've got a can of worms in my tackle box."

As Kevin went to open his tackle box, Vivienne and I had to practically hold our breath to keep from cracking up!

"AAAHHHHHHHHH! It's a human finger!", Kevin shrieked. "A bloody dead, human finger!"  He was so scared that he fell backwards onto the ground!

We couldn't hold it in any longer! Vivienne and I busted out laughing and slapped each other some five!

"Are you two crazy?" Kevin screamed. "I told you there's a dead human finger in my tackle box, and that's breaks you guys up! We've gotta do something! We should call the police, or the FBI, or somebody!!"

Now we were really howling! I walked over to the tackle box, picked up the "finger", and took a bite out of it!
"It's only a wienie, you weenie!", I laughed. "The blood is just ketchup."
"What was that about being squeamish, Kevin?", Vivienne teased. I passed the hot dog to Vivienne and she took a bite, too!
Kevin stood up and dusted himself off, and was he ever mad!
"That was NOT funny! I mean, a joke's a joke, but that was NOT funny!"
"Oh yes it was and you know it!", Vivienne told him. "You're just mad 'cos Julie thought of a really cool way to get you back and you fell for it."
"Yeah, Kevin. And you oughtta know by now that if you play your dumb tricks on me, that I WILL get you back, and get you good."
"So you might as well just say "Uncle", and knock off the dopey jokes",  Vivienne continued.
"OK, I promise....I won't play any more stupid tricks on you, Julie", Kevin said.
"Pinky swear?", I said, holding out my pinky.
"All right, pinky swear", Kevin said as he linked his pinky with mine. Then he kinda snickered a little. "You know", he began, "that hot dog really did look like a finger. That would be great for Halloween."
"Would it ever!", I agreed. I pulled the almond "finger nail" out of the hot dog and fed the rest of it to Barkley. "Now let's get back to fishing."
"OK, lemme bait your hooks."

So we fished for about an hour and while we were fishing we rapped about what we were gonna do for the rest of the summer, and what T,V, shows and records we liked and stuff like that.

All of us caught a fish! Even me! And I had never even been fishing before. This pond must be good luck!

                          "Barkley! You just ate a hot dog. Get away from those fish!"

Kevin set up a fire pit and some chairs a few yards away, and he cleaned and cooked fish while Vivienne and I played frisbee.

                            "Barkley! You silly dog! You don't know how to toss a frisbee!"

Kevin told us the fish was just about ready, so Vivienne and I got the rest of the stuff out of the picnic basket and laid everything out.

We were just about to sit down on the grass and eat when we noticed we weren't the only ones who wanted to share our picnic.

Yuck! Ants! We quickly picked up all the food and sat in the chairs to eat. Kevin is actually a pretty good cook for an 8-year-old. He told us his dad took him and Betta and C.J. on many fishing trips every summer and Easter vacation.

It was starting to cool off a little, so we decided to pack everything up and head back. We thanked Kevin for inviting us and for that groovy lunch. I told him good-bye, since I wouldn't be seeing him for a while. He said to tell Danny, Jason and Kyle he said hi. I told him to tell his family good-bye from me. When we got back to Vivienne's house, she helped me pack, because I had an early flight back to Springfield the next day.

Mrs. Walton cooked one of her fabulous dinners, chicken and dumplings, for my last night at their house. After dinner, we all took a nice walk. It was just getting dark and the sun had started to set.

It was a really pretty summer night. I've had a dynamite time in West Virginia. I made new friends, went to neat places and had a super groovy time. I was kinda sad to say good-bye, but not too sad, because Vivienne is coming in a few weeks to go to Camp Echo Hill with me! All right! And now I'm on the plane on my way back to Springfield. I've had a great vacation, but I'll be glad to get back to my mom and Boomer. So the next time you hear from me, future readers, I'll be right back home again.

Until then,
Your friend,
Julie Newman

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Field Trip To The Falls!

Hello future readers,

We all woke up early this morning and broke camp. (that's what people say when you take down the tents, and clean up the camp site). We went to the restrooms again to get dressed, brush our teeth and comb our hair. Then we went to the Mess hall and had granola and fruit for breakfast. Right after breakfast, we went back outside for the Flag ceremony. Just as we were finishing the Star Spangled Banner, I saw a big, yellow school bus coming down the road toward the day camp. Yay! It was almost time for the field trip! Laura told us all to line up outside the main building.

She took roll call to make sure everyone was there to get on the bus.

"Vivienne?"  "Here!"
"Betta?"   "Here!"
"Kevin?"  "Pre-SENT!"
"Evelyn?"  "Here!"
"Lydia?"   "Here!"
"Julie?"     "Here!"
"C.J.?"   Silence.
"C.J.?"  More silence.

"Clay Julian Fleagle! You better answer up right now, or I'm calling your mother and sending you home!", Laura shouted.
"He's just pretending he's invisible, Laura", I told her. Then I elbowed C.J. "Hey C.J., knock it off!"
He pulled his hat off of his face. "Here", he mumbled.
"And Marcie?"   "Here!"

Laura told us how we should be safe on the bus and stay in our seats, and said once we got to the Falls, we all had to use the Buddy system and not wander off.

Well, we all got on the bus for the 20 minute ride to the Falls. We sang the camp song, and I started with "Hey Bus Driver", and everyone else joined in. Laura just sat in the front seat, shaking her head. Guess what? The bus driver, Mr. Crenshaw doesn't like that song any better than our bus driver in Springfield, Mr. Sanders. Laura could see he was getting kinda mad, so she called back, "All right, that's enough of that, you guys." A few minutes later the bus pulled up to the entrance to the state park where the  Falls are. This park is a historical landmark because the Battle Of Falling Waters was fought here. We could see the Confederate flag waving above us.

Near the entrance were 2 plaques about the  Battle of Falling Waters.

We saw Stonewall Jackson's tablet.

We really wanted to see the Falls, so we decided to hike on the trail.

I was ahead of the others, and I heard Laura calling to me to wait for everyone else.

Then we got to the sign for the bridge and the Falls! Far out! I was so excited. I had never actually seen a real waterfall before. We walked a little further and there it was! It was so beautiful! I'm glad I had my camera with me!

Wow! So that what our day camp is named after! It was funny, but with me standing there wearing my camp shirt of the falls, it almost made me feel like I was a part of it. It was time for lunch, so we hiked a little further until we came to some big rocks which was the perfect spot to sit and eat. After we cleaned up,  we asked some other hikers we met if they would take our picture.

It was time to get back on the bus, because Laura said we were gonna stop at Hammond House, from the ghost story we heard last night. Wow, a ghost story come to life! That's pretty groovy! Hammond House is across the street from Falling Waters Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Fleagle (Kevin, Betta and C.J.'s mom) works there and all my WV friends go to church there too.

This is part of the graveyard that is all around the church. Hammond House was actually used as a hospital for the soldiers in the Civil War. The "Bloody Soldier" from the ghost story last night died there, and people say his ghost doesn't know he's dead so he haunts Hammond House and the nearby highway where cars pass today. He'll stop cars, just like in the story, trying to find someone who will help him.

It was time to head back to the day camp. Mrs. Walton and the other parents would be waiting to pick everyone up. This was the last day of Camp Falling Waters. I gave Laura a hug and thanked her for such a dynamite week! She told me it a nice that I could fly out here to go to camp with my friends, and she hoped to see me next year.

Back at Vivienne's house, Mr. Walton was working late, so Mrs. Walton said we could have our dinner on the sun porch! All right!  We had been telling her about the camp-out and the ghost story, our trip the the Falls and Hammond House.

 She told us about her great aunt, Nellie Lucille, who lived during the time of the Civil War. Then she told us she had some old dresses of Nellie Lucille's in a trunk and asked us if we'd like to see them! That sounded like fun so we went up to the attic.

It was dark and dusty up there. Mrs. Walton found an old trunk and opened it. Inside were these long beautiful old-fashioned dresses and frilly hats with big feathers on them..

Wow, they look just like the dresses I've seen in those old-time movies on television. We asked if we could please try them on, and Mrs. Walton said yes! Far out!

Don't we look pretty? It's like we stepped into a time machine or something. Mrs. Walton told us that her Great Aunt Nellie Lucille really loved hats, and her favorite one was the one Vivienne was wearing. We pranced around the attic like we were in a fashion show. Then Mrs. Walton got the most super idea! Since it was still light out, we could drive over to Hammond House, and take a picture in front of it. Outta site! Oh..uh.. I mean...that's a simply mah-velous idea, dahling! Hee!

I wonder what the neighbors thought as they watched us getting into Mrs. Walton's car in those dresses! Maybe they thought we were going to a costume party! *giggle*

When we got to Hammond House. Vivienne and I stood on the stairs posing, trying to look as grown-up as we could. I bet my mom will love this picture!

Well day camp is over, so tomorrow Vivienne and I are just gonna relax and take it easy for my last day in West Virginia. I hope they have good Saturday morning cartoons here. I'm looking forward to sleeping in and playing all day! Tune in tomorrow!

Until then future readers,
Your friend,
Julie Newman