Jimmy Boyd lived in the house just south of the Methodist Church. We lived in the house directly north of it. Like all kids, we lived our fantasy world with a degree of sincerity … one that lasted the length of the summer. When school started, we’d drop the whole thing.
But there was a barn not too far from the house that had loft. We took a broom up there, swept it out and made it our clubhouse.
OK, now that we had a clubhouse, we needed a club.
A pretty special one, we decided. No girls allowed, naturally. We were in fourth grade.
Owing to the time, two major images came to mind:
So, Jimmy, Joel and I developed, built and maintained the exclusive (very very exclusive) Jolly Roger Club.
We were pirates.
Why we weren’t frontiersmen was simple: Davy Crockett had been killed at the Alamo and that was last year, anyhow. We had lost our coonskin caps.
When it was time for the club to meet, Jimmy would ride over to our house on his bike, stop outside and go “Caw, Caw!” That was the sign. A bit of a takeoff, it was, on the old, really really old “Lassie” show where the kid with the dog (the one before Timmy; the kid, not the dog)) had a friend named Porky or Sylvester. Their greeting call was “E-Aw-Kee.” Do your own research.
But when meetin’ time came, we met. We shared Kool-Aid and Reese’s Cups and almost anything we could get to eat. Tomatoes served nicely.
We had a flag, complete with a skull and crossbones on it and a few other special secret codes and signs.No girls allowed.
Jimmy was learning to play the clarinet and his mother made sure he did his lessons. Joel and I were either inept at music or disinclined to care much about it, but Jimmy was doing a pretty good job. I could never blow a note.
The charter membership of the Jolly Rogers was confined to three members, though we once sort-of gave Jimmy’s mom,Lorraine, an honorary membership, and she said she felt proud to be a part of it.
At times, we had to fend off a few invaders who were intent on throwing green apples at us, ones they’d picked from Howard Snider’s tree, the one behind his Quonset hut where he had a little woodworking shop.
Howard also had raspberries and we weren’t supposed to eat them.
Jimmy Boyd moved to Ohio at the end of summer.
I still think we’re all charter members. AndMarilyn Davis was NEVER allowed to join, though she begged us.