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A Classic Family Story

This happened fifty-eight years ago.

My two oldest brothers had enlisted in the military, one Army in Texas and one Marine in California.

When Dad realized we could take in a lot of the US and see both brothers at one fell swoop, he worked out the logistics. He was excited and he shared with us the specific things we might see.

He was explaining to my youngest brother (4) a leg of the trip where there would almost certainly be black bears, my brother’s current obsession.

A couple of weeks later, we were off! We were actually OUT of Pennsylvania and driving through the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. In time we came to a long narrow graveled pull-off. At one end was an ice cream store and far away at the other end was a string of trash cans.

Dad pulled over near the ice cream store and we got out and stretched our legs, when my little brother declared, “There’s my bear!” and took off toward the trash cans.

Welp. My dad was no athlete in his 50’s. He was a preacher and too many church events were built around food. He was not a track star. Most of the time.

That day, though, Usain Bolt would’ve come in second.

About 3/4 of the way to the bears, Dad actually passed my brother and had to go back to get him, tucked him under one arm and kicked for the car, the rotten kid under his arm struggling and protesting.

Dad was pale and breathing hard so we brought him his ice cream while he explained to our little brother that while bears were great creatures, a four-year-old had no place to keep a personal bear.

Happy Fourth, all!
SwampFlower · 31-35, F
Sevier County? They never did get the right trash cans.
SwampFlower · 31-35, F
@Mamapolo2016 I love this story, though. The bears have taken over now. We told the kids that the new pool was for them, but us adults know the truth 🤷‍♀️
@SwampFlower I guess it’s better to be invaded by happy, cooled-off bears than hot angry ones.
SwampFlower · 31-35, F
@Mamapolo2016 "Sorry we took your home. Here's a giant cup of water to compensate." They seem fine with it.

Of course! A 4-yr-old doesn't know
@SomeMichGuy Exactly.

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