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Sherman, Now You See Him…Now You Don’t…

Story ID:9469
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Blly Oregon USA
Year:2013
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Sherman, Now You See Him…Now You Don’t…
By Chuck Dishno
January, 2014

Growing up in the small Oregon town of Bly during the mid 1940’s was a great time to be a kid. The war was over, my two brothers had returned with their war brides and the future looked bright.

Us kids lived for the seasons, not the normal ones like, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter but the in between ones like, rubber gun season, slingshot season, marble season, etc. One of our favorite seasons, to be played on the long summer evenings was Kick-the-Can season.

It usually didn’t get dark on those summer evenings until at least 9 or 10 PM and unlike kids of today’s age, we were out until we couldn’t see anymore or our moms came looking for us. We didn’t have television, video games or any of those things to keep us inside like the bottle butt kids of today do. If we came home early, our mom’s would have thought we were sick and probably laced us with a tablespoon of castor oil or lathered our chests with Vick’s Vapor Rub.

Kick-the-Can was the most popular or various versions of it. Almost every evening there was a game going on and the most popular place was the Forrest Service lawn. There were plenty of places to hide with all the Forrest Service buildings on the grounds. As I said, we played until we couldn’t see anymore.

Bly only had about 8 or 10 black families at that time and we were all good friends. There was no racial prejudice then or if there was we didn’t know about it. One boy, who was always in our games, was Sherman Seastrong. He was a tall strapping lad and one of our best friends. Most of the boys, including Sherman, wore white cut-off chords and a white T-shirt.

This was better than a clock, the darker it would get the less we would see of Sherman. When it got so dark outside that all we could see were a white T-shirt and a pair of white cords running across the lawn, we knew it was time to go home as Sherman slowly disappeared. Sherman took this all in good stride and would say that it’s a good thing he had a nice set of white teeth or we wouldn’t be able to see his head either.

I don’t know what ever happened to Sherman or where he ended up but we loved him. I hope his memory of Bly is as vivid as mine.

God Bless you Sherman, where ever you are. I hope we can get up a good game of Kick-the-Can on some Heavenly lawn sometime. You will always be welcome.