Delusions of Grand Fear!

I found this movie poster on the web and it brought back lots of memories!
Summer nights in NC where I lived were filled with humidity, catching lightning bugs, BB gun wars, eating fresh watermelon and trying to get away with as much as we could without getting caught. I grew up in a neighborhood filled with little boys. All of us were athletes and all dreamed of strapping on uniforms of Carolina Blue and Redskin Red. We dreamed that we were the fastest and baddest around. We listened to AM radio, 1400 WSIC that had a play list of about 20 songs. We also went to the movies. It cost .75 cents to go to the Playhouse Theater in 1974 for nine a year old. We saw movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Bed knobs and Broomsticks and Herbie the Love Bug. There was also a movie out called The Legend of Boggy Creek. This had to be one of the worst movies of all time. I mean this movie was bad, terrible camera work, acting and script. It made the Blair Witch project look like Gone with the Wind. You need to know that in the 70’s we had a Big Foot craze. For a nine year old it was more like a Big Foot fear fest! There were stories constantly on the news about some guy running into Big Foot on some hunting trip. We all made the tragic mistake of going to see this horrible movie that was so poorly done, yet scared the Beelzebub out of all of us. The movie was about a small town of country folk terrorized by a Sasquatch/Big Foot/ Ape Man killer. The distance between the movies and a little boy’s reality are not far apart. Behind my small town home was, yep you guessed it, a boggy creek and 100 acres of hardwoods. At night strange noises would emanate from the woods and the boggy creek.
We told fairy tale stories about kids disappearing in those 100 acre woods. Awful bloody legends that made the peach fuzz stand up on the back of your neck. Those summer nights were the times when we felt most free and most afraid. These were the times where little boys either succumbed to fear or faced it like the men we hoped we’d become. At night we were positive that the Boggy Creek Monster was back there….waiting! I would stay late down the road at Joe’s house till it was way too dark to walk home alone. My little brother would punk out and leave before it got dark. (he was only 7 at the time). I would be faced with a ¼ mile walk home…in the dark! But I had a secret weapon. No one knew it, but when it was dark, no one was looking and I was scared of being bludgeoned to death and eaten by a hairy ape man… I had super powers. I’m not kidding! If those conditions were exactly aligned, I could run 60 mph, just like the 6 million dollar man. I would begin my treacherous journey home out of Joe’s driveway at a slow walk, listening for the beast. As soon as I heard a branch break or anything that sounded vaguely like ravenous monster I would begin my super sprint! I’d fly by Cricket and Andy’s house at break neck speed then by Duck Mayhew’s (who hated every child in the world) and then I’d finally, out of breath, make it to the sanctuary of the floodlight in front of our house! The wind would fly through my hair as I ran and running at 60 MPH it really pins your ears back. I was always sure that monster was right behind me. Arriving safely at home I’d stop and catch my breath and be thankful I had avoided certain death. The only problem was that during the day when we’d play football or have foot races…I was slow as rock! Go Figure.


Jeff A. Spry said…
Ah yes, the Bigfoot. Not even six-million-dollar super-astronaut Steve Austin could stop this force of nature (Remember that episode?).

It must have been Bigfoot's secret power - the ability to be blurry - that kept him from being caught.

I too share your secret power - I can still access mine while climbing the stairs from our darkened basement. I'll bet you miss the part about the wind in your hair! Maybe we should form some sort of group - the Avenging Super Justice Society of Statesville. Since you're in the military and can harm me twenty-four different ways with a tube of toothpaste, you can be the leader. I'll be the sidekick comic-relief.

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