Saturday, November 14, 2020

I Remember

I remember:

I remember throwing a rifle over my shoulder and taking off on my bicycle, riding through town on my way out to go camping, fishing, hunting or just hiking around outside of West Yellowstone.

If I needed anything, some lunch ingredients, matches, extra shells for whatever gun I was carrying or whatever, I could just stop in at the store and get it. 12 years old or so. No panic. No fear around me. No one called the cops or even commented about it as it was not remarkable.

I remember going camping near Belgrade, Montana with friends. Shooting gophers with our pistols, setting up camp next to the Gallatin River, just wherever we wanted and spending two or three days just fishing, swimming, hiking, shooting and camping. No trespass issues. No police called to check us out.

Going hunting before school hours and getting back, a little late, so hurried to class, still wearing my knife and extra ammo. Got in trouble for being late.

Hiking, camping, fishing, bicycling all over the West Yellowstone area with the rule that I had to be home by dinner. Sometimes miles from town, just a dog, a rifle and myself, exploring the outdoors as only a kid can.

In later years, after I had a pickup for my travels, I ranged even further for longer. If I was tired, I'd stop and sleep. If I wanted to make a meal, whether far out in the mountains or in a pullout next to the highway, I'd make a fire and cook. "No overnight camping" was not a sign we saw. Paying for a campsite? What?!

Leave my rifle in the rack in the back window of my pickup, parked at the school.

Ride a bicycle without a helmet. Ride in the back of a pickup.

No DUI roadblocks. No security check roadblocks. Cops wouldn't even think of asking to search my car!

load my guitar, soundgear and pool cues in the car and take off down the road, living by playing music and pool in crowded bars and pool halls.

Family gatherings, funerals, weddings and events without government dictated crowd size and event locations.

Rodeos, county fairs, local school sports, local school events, such as graduations, plays, concerts and so on.

Children going to school, having friends, parties and events together. Actually attending classes with personal contact. How's a kid supposed to get a crush on his teacher if she's just a computer screen?

National sports heroes we could respect. National sports weren't political events.

Hugs, handshakes and visiting our seniors in their nursing homes.

Want to put up a fence or garden on your own property? OK. How about parking your boat or trailer in front of your house? Sure. No problem.

What else are our children losing? What kind of country will they grow into? One where we don't see smiles anymore? Hard to recognize or hear our neighbors through their face diaper but if you don't wear yours, they will rat you out and you'll be in trouble for breathing free air?

I'm sad to see the things we've lost and reflect on the things we're likely to lose.

But, I'm sure we'll be much more secure and healthy in the New World Order and if you never had freedom, you won't miss it. I'm old now and will likely be gone soon so my memories are just that...old guy memories of times gone by. But...I Remember.

No comments: