Saturday, May 4, 2013

Billy Phelps

Billy was the best neighbor anyone has ever had. He loved his state, his country and loved his life. He was a crane operator with a tough, honest, loving wife Ruth and 5 daughters. When we lived in North Carolina, Billy lived right next door. His girls were older so he took a shining to our wee ones. He protected them sometimes I think better than we did.

One day the girls were outside playing between our yards where the swing set was. We lived out in the sticks on a gravel road just inside where you could get indoor plumbing. I went in the house for a moment as Billy sat out in his backyard in his usual chair under the tree reading the paper, smoking, and drinking whiskey. All was well until the shotgun blast shattered the calm country air.

Needless to say I ran out of my body to get outside. Erica came running over. I must have had the look of sheer panic on my face. Billy smiled and said, "there was a snake." He reached down and picked it up to throw it away. Erica said, "the snake was coming to get us and Billy killed it." He sure did.

Reason one I dislike the country - child-eating snakes.