Bluffs, Bluff Stew and Four American Boys
I Hate to Bring Something up
that I may have written in the past seven years that I have been a member of HubPages. If I have, in fact, mentioned my topic, which will be introduced later, I offer you my most-sincere apologies. But why should I cry on your shoulder when you know how tough it is to come up with a hub that is simply dripping with powerful, colorful creativity.
This process of producing creative hubs is nothing short of hard work. From the grinding research going from website to website and sometimes visiting what libraries that might be open, did I say hard work? Make that laborious, sweaty, and cold thanks to the librarians who seemingly like to scoff at me when I simply ask a simple question about Quantum Physics. If you are a librarian and you have provided many people their favorite book during your workday, I feel for you and do not want you to feel hard at me for any reason—and I am sure that you speak for all of the Librarian Sisterhood of America.
Has Everyone Forgotten
about being young and going on daring adventures when there are bluffs near your neighborhood? Now I am not an English expert, so the plural I chose was as close as humanly possible when I wanted to talk about more than one bluff. And I am not referring to a clever Poker move that is used to fool other Poker addicts into thinking that you are some kind of an Ace Poker player and when you throw down a Heart Flush, you come away with their money. Your wife will love you because most of “this” humongous pot goes to make a down payment on her brand new Toyota. Note: I meant to use the term “Ace,” by way of telling you how talented you are at playing Poker.
You may be in a quandary about the meaning of “bluff” outside of the Poker term that I have already used. To us redneck rural citizens in northwest Alabama, a bluff is the first cousin of a majestic mountain ledge. In our country, a bluff is common place, but still, we have many uses for a garden variety bluff. And I apologize to everyone here who lives in some huge metropolitan town who has never sit foot near a bluff. I am sincere. To you, I hope that one day you will locate and spend some time near or in a bluff.
Most bluffs have caves like those in our locale. And I have to be completely honest with you. These bluffs serve two purposes: one, the guys who love to get wild on the weekend will load up in their 4x4s with several cases of cold beer and head to where they have found The perfect party place which is really a bluff in some far away wilderness that they stumbled upon while they were trying to hide from their wives, but that is another story.
These guys unload their trucks, build a roaring fire inside their bluff and start popping the tops of their beer and fire-up their CD players with the latest tunes from Hank “Bocephus” Williams, Jr., But there are those of us who have already walked on “The Wild Side” when we were their ages and we are just content to camp-out in our bluff with our bologna sandwiches, Cheez-it’s and black coffee. And for music, we always bring someone who can play a guitar. I told you we are not the wild animals that we used to be.
I had a day off of my junior year in our local high school: Hamilton High, home of The Aggies! In 1971, my friends and I had already taken our mid-term tests and our teachers just said, if you do not have a test tomorrow, stay home—and if you can remember when you were young, you can recall those two musical words, “stay home,” from any teacher whom you loved forever. I don’t recall my teacher’s name who let us have a day off, but I can tell you what we did in our bluff.
In our bluff area which sat directly down behind my good friends, the Childers Crew which consisted of James, Gary, and Glenn Childers and Tammy, but she was only a toddler and not big enough to run with us worldly guys who loved to kick up our heels and just have as good of a time as possible without being arrested and having our parents to get us out of jail.
Our bluff area had the prettiest waterfall you eve saw. The water was so cold and pure that we drank it right down and even used it to cook with. If you had been in our crew, you would not have wanted to go back to school, graduate, and then get a job. No, sir. If things were left up to us, we would have stayed in the bluff area and lived off of the land where society would never find us.
On this particular day, we all planned to spend the day in our bluff area and spend the day with sharing our future as it pertained to work, girls, cars, jobs, girls, and making money. Did I say girls?
Each of us had a task when our day-off rolled around. My job was to take a deep pan from my mom’s kitchen and an old refrigerator shelf that I had found to use for letting our “Bluff Stew” sit on a low fire and cook all day long. Yes, the rest of the Childers boys brought onions, peppers, beef chunks, and other nice things for us to cook to celebrate our time together.
We arrived at our bluff site around 10 a.m. and started a good fire and we all began to cut up the fixin’s for our “Bluff Stew” and just share a few jokes and take in those clean breaths of freedom that came with growing up with fiends. We started the stew on our fire and all of us agreed that we all would take turns in turning it as so it wouldn’t burn—and if that were to happen, there would have been four hungry guys with four broken hearts.
The Time Off Went Quickly
as the hours went by with our stew simmering and our portable radio blaring away the latest Rock and Roll Music on WVOK—The Mighty 690, in Bessemer, Ala., and we just lay around in and near our bluff and before we knew it, I think that Gary Childers surprised us all with his gross of Penny Rockets that we divided and all of us crawled up our homemade ladder to the top of our Bluff Area where our Penny Rocket Battle was going to take place.
We had this activity planned while we “wolfed down” our “Bluff Stew,” and friends, at the end of our day, there was no stew left whatsoever. The only complaint we had was that we only had one gross of Penny Rockets to shoot at each other. Ahhh, good memories.
Today as I write this hub, I am 64 years of age and battling a few health concerns, but my health battles cannot rob me from the memories of our “Bluff Stew” day-off from school. I have to wonder if at my age now with the rest of my good friends, the Childers Crew, would be game to finding another bluff with a waterfall and reliving what is was like to be young again and eat our famous homemade “ Bluff Stew?”
Then maybe, we guys should just meet-up at our local Hardee’s and eat a few biscuits and drink a gallon or two of coffee . . .and this time, no homemade ladder to climb; no danger of getting salmonella from our stew.
Yeah. Hardee’s it is.
Oct. 3, 2018______________________________________________
© 2018 Kenneth Avery