A birthday with a few thoughts of the pa...

July 31, 2011|By LLOYD WATERS

A few weeks ago, I had another birthday.   

Since I enlisted in the military at age 18, was in my first prison riot at 22 and then knocked over a telephone pole at the age of 25, I always had the premonition that I was going to die young.

Since I’m now too old to die young, I usually sing in the shower on my birthday.

This year I was singing “I ain’t as good as I once was, But I’m as good once, as I ever was” by Toby Keith.

Felt good when I got out of the shower, so I went to the kitchen to take a few Motrin so that good feeling would last for a while.

As birthdays come and go, I always like to pause and think about those people who have been a part of my life.

In Dargan, they were mostly known by their nicknames.  Some of them resemble CIA codes.

My dad’s name was Milton Lloyd, but the only name I ever heard him called was Bull Neck. He was a worker and stronger than a bull. A little hard-headed too, so I suspect Bull Neck seemed to fit.

Tink was a good neighbor and racehorse fan with my Dad.

Hop was my favorite uncle. He died too young.

Boots was a fellow who would walk to Hagerstown on the weekends to see a movie.

Moonshine was his brother who liked to play cards.  

Hubba was a cousin from down the road who always seemed to be fighting with his sister Bonnie.

Nuck was a kid who would go streaking (nude) on a horse to avoid the cops. Believe it!

Gordie was the size of a minnow and enjoyed life.

Chuck was a good kid who lived near Grim’s grocery.

Eyes and Applejack were brothers and Limey was their dad.

Storky was a Marine. He drowned in the Potomac in 1980.

Bluejean was the smallest kid in Dargan at one time.

Scat and BoBo were great Little League coaches.

Orville Lee gave it all in Vietnam.

Duck has a raspy voice and should have been a radio announcer, but he never got discovered. He would have been more popular than Wolfman Jack.

Pee Wee, a cousin, was small but grew up to be tall.

Turtle, too, was a tiny fellow who died from cancer. After a libation he would snap his fingers.

Kitty must have been a guy who liked cats.

Blueberry and Doopey Doll lived on the back road.

Donut must have eaten plenty of them.

Butch was the best fast pitch softball pitcher. I was his catcher and he threw smoke.

Dargan had its own Bear; probably got his name because he was “soft” and “cuddly.”  Hard to imagine!

Roc must have got his nickname because he threw rocks.   

Shug, who knows how that happened? I think his given name was Merle.

Whistle Pig. I don’t know!

Goose was a good buddy, but I don’t think he resembled a goose. Must have been another story line to that name.

Skunk. Well, he was a very popular guy, but I can’t imagine how his nickname arrived. He really didn’t smell that bad.

Packle is another unique name; he still lives on a hill just below Frog Hollow.

Goat was a childhood friend who could throw a baseball on a line from the outfield. If you were going to score on him, you better be fast. He died in an auto accident.

Boog still walks those Dargan hills, but the mountains are wearing out his knee.

Pepe loved to fish.  I was with him the night he died.

Birthdays are indeed nice to have, but it’s the friends around you that make them special. I’ve had a few along my journey.

By the way, they call me Dozer.

Lloyd “Dozer” Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes columns for The Herald-Mail.

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