UNCLE CHUCK AND THE HARLEY DAVIDSON
The walk back from the mail box was usually pretty dull. Ol' Ruff, my buddy and squirrel dog had already stirred up all of the excitement that he could on the way up to the mail box. But today was different, there had been a letter from Uncle Chuck in the mail box !
It was the biggest part of a mile out to the county road and that was where the mail box was located, on the letter carrier's mail route going west towards Oklahoma. On the way out Ruff had chased and treed every squirrel along the way, and, he had stirred up the resident water moccasin at the branch crossing.
The long walk back was going pretty quickly as mom read the letter., with occasional breaks for such things as crossing the stepping stones at the branch. And the usual stern admonitions to Ruff and I, such as get out of that and stay away from the other, so on and so forth. At the branch crossing we could still smell the stink of that old water moccasin that Ruff had really riled up.
As Mom continued to read we learned that Uncle Chuck, Charles Thurman Harmon, had went halves with a buddy he was in the Army with, and had bought a Military surplus Harley Davidson. And, now here is the cool part, they planned to ride it home from way over near the coast.
Now, talk about exciting ! Here was a cool Uncle that I hadn't seen since I was too young to remember, a warrior coming home from the great war, on a Harley Davidson motorcycle ! They would be traveling US Highway 70 to Durant Oklahoma and since we were not too far off of the route would be stopping to visit for a few days. Holey cow !
Speculation ran high around the evening supper table that evening. Topics about the travel time, Army discharge date and weather were being thrown about so fast that we forgot to turn on the battery powered radio to hear the Louisiana Hay Ride program. That was a favorite radio show that we almost never missed.
We knew that they would ride mostly in the daylight and avoid riding at night, especially when they started up into the Ouachita Mountains where the roads were considerably in worse condition.
Time seemed to pass ever so slowly as we listened for the exotic motorcycle sound coming down the road to our house. A few days later when we finally heard that sound the weather had changed for the worse and it had slowed down their progress. They were both still in Army Uniform with heavy wool long coats, gloves and goggles on.
Ruff just knew that we were being attacked by a dragon and rushed out to bite a tire, nearly causing a wreck by the well in the front yard ! After getting Ruff called off, the hugging and back slapping began.
Soon the whole family was sitting around the kitchen table exchanging tales and catching up on family events since Uncle Chuck had last seen us.
Coffee, sausage biscuits left over from breakfast and lots of smiles and laughing. Uncle Chuck was home at last !