A Bolt out of the Blue

Early September- 2008

Hi gang. Well, it’s just about Fall here in the ol’ South, and for some reason or another… the Summer has seemed to have just flown by so quickly. I remember being much younger, and time seemed to drag by so slowly. Nowadays…
everybody’s tryin’ to hold on to one moment of time… with no success.
While I sit here and think about times gone by, I’d like to tell ya’ll a short little tale about a couple of silly kids… who had many good adventures together before time separated them. This lil’ story is about myself and my good friend and brother Patrick “Dirty” Daugherty. Many long years ago…
I believe that this yarn will be titled…
A Bolt Out Of The Blue!
In the mid 1960s, when what would eventually become Black Oak Arkansas was first beginning to gel, Jim Dandy and I lived in the Black Oak/Monette area of Arkansas… and Stanley Knight and Pat both lived in the Jonesboro, Arkansas area. We all started off all playing in different bands, but graduated into a close-knit family of one by the time BOA was born. We would hang out together a lot, partying at each other’s gigs, drinking too much beer, and hitting on each other’s girlfriends!
Just regular teenage stuff, ya know.
On this particular day, I was over in Jonesboro at Pat’s Mom and Dad’s home. His folks have passed away some time ago now, but we were all in our prime at this time! Pat and I were out in the field next to his house with his dog… just goofin’ around… tryin’ to occupy our minds and wastin’ time.
We were both kinda into archery at this time, and Pat and I were shooting a re-curve bow and a couple of arrows around as a kind of practice. We would shoot first at a tree… and then some target we would set up. The dog would hang by us as a dog will… just watching and tryin’ to figure out what was goin’ on.
Eventually, we started shooting the arrows way up into the air… in a long arch… and following them with our eyes to see where they fell… and how far they would go. We would make a sort of game out of it… to see who’s arrow would go the highest… whose arrow would go the further. Of course, the further they would go… the longer we would have to walk to retrieve them!
So… we started shooting for heights instead of distance. Up… up… up the arrow would zoom until it was almost invisible! Then you could hear the faint whistle of the feathers turning as it would plummet back to Earth! Way cool!
Well, Pat’s turn came up on the bow. He and I and his dog were all about two feet from each other… forming an almost perfect triangle with so little space between us that you could touch each other with having to strain to do it!
Pat nocks the arrow… raises the bow… and I suddenly realize that he has elevated the trajectory of the arrow straight up! “HEY, MAN!” I yell.
Too late!
The arrow climbs quickly into space… and in a matter of a second or two… it is out of sight!
“Where the Hell?” Pat says. Suddenly, his dog starts to whimper! We hear the whistle of the arrow… but can see nothing!
Sssssss…. THUNK! The damn arrow slices the air and lands directly in the middle of our triangle! “OH, HELL!” The poor dog runs off screaming towards the house… and Pat and I look at this arrow… sticking in the ground… only a couple of feet from both of us!!
“Time to quit!” we both say at the same time!
That was the last time we EVER played that game!
Ah… to be young again.
I hope to see ya’ll around here again when I pop out another memory of days gone by, and I hope ya’ll never hear a whistling noise… followed by a THUNK! Take care, and keep watchin’ the sky.
Copyright © Rickie Lee Reynolds
PS- Just to make you think…
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow- (1807-1882)
The Arrow and The Song
” I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.”