(I get all these images from:)Oh, sure, life on Country Village Lane seemed ideal as I grew up, but it held dark secrets. Sort of.
1 - This is where I buried several successive "time capsules," allowing me to preserve Country Village Lane as it existed only 2 or 3 months before. I held those month-old newspapers in awe as I read old news. That is, if I tightened the lid of the milk bottle tight enough so that water didn't seep in and ruin all the contents. This is also about where we buried "Charlie," the last in a line of parakeets my sister raised over the years. We gave him a proper burial here in my favorite cigar box, which I had painted with glow-in-the-dark paint. I may have left a time capsule there when we moved, so there could be some early 70's artifacts buried there to this day. It's private property, though, so I wouldn't recomment an expedition!
2- This was where we waited for the school bus to Wickshire School, the elementary school I attended until we moved after 5th grade. When I returned to the communty after an 18 year absence, I discovered that the aluminum light pole here still had the etched graffiti some kid has scrawled on it when I was a kid. Without going into too much detail, the now-forgotten kid had attempted to include every bad word he knew into one bizarre nonsensical phrase. This is also the location where one of the local kids, finished with his baseball cards, dumped them all here one morning for all of us to fight over. For a few seconds, I had most of them gathered around me, but Chris noticed my advantage and sounded the alarm before I could get them to safety. I was mobbed by half a dozen boys and was left with just a few.
3 - This is Chris's backyard, where his St. Bernard, appropriately named "Nard," spent his days. This is also where Chris and I played baseball (I was the pitcher, and he was the catcher). This is also where he and his dad launched a model rocket (as we watched from inside the back door of their house). It's also where we dug up a huge ant colony, and I became so fascinated with all the activity within that I didn't notice half of the ants were all over me.
4 - Our school bus stop moved to here in later years, for reasons that will forever remain forgotten. The move across the street made it seem somehow less our own bus stop. It was on the corner of another street, and not purely Country Village Lane. The magic was gone. One day, as we waited for the bus one morning in 5th grade, I gave a 2nd grade neighbor kid a "Vulcan nerve pinch" (that's when Spock on Star Trek pinched some bad guy on the back of the neck to knock them out). Well, the kid didn't like getting his neck pinched for some reason, and ran crying home to his mother.
5 - I hid behind a bush here, knowing the kid's mother would be at the bus stop to scream at me. I could only hope that the bus would come before she did. She didn't, and I got screamed at while I sat in my not-very-effective hiding place. The kid calmed down, and we went on to school. Later that morning I was summoned from my fifth grade class to my former second grade class (I was escorted by Country Village Lane's own twin boys). My former second grade teacher then informed me how disappointed she was to learn that I tried to strangle the very same kid, who now had magically begun to cry again. Some kids learn revenge early.