Stamping Ground Tales

By Don Buck P. Creacy

I admit that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Actually it’s a huge relief to say it. I wouldn’t want anyone to read this article and take much of what I say too seriously. I know that I don’t see things like other folks do and some times I see things that plain confuse me. Now me being confused by what I’m looking at is what I call my normal condition. I stare at stuff, turn it over if I can, poke at it, and sometimes see if its chewable. In order to understand more about my world. That’s my hands-on approach, been doing that since I was, oh, maybe, two years old. I can’t really remember when it all began. Some things stand out.

I was 13 before I ever saw a bear. My buddies retrieved me from Slim’s Barber Shop where I was shining shoes and we ran down to the used car lot. You see, back before those nice animal rights folks got excited, you could go to the county fair, or a used car lot and there would a fellow with a bear wearing a chain, collar and muzzle. For the sake of clarity, the bear was wearing the chain, collar, and muzzle, not the fellow with the bear. For six bits you could get your picture taken with one of those Kodiak cameras and for 12 bits you could wrestle that bear. Well, we all wanted to see someone wrestle that bear. I was staring at that bear walking around on all fours and I said to myself, “That bear isn’t much taller than Skip, my Great Dane dog.” Now I did not say this out loud, just to myself inside my head; like you might decide which shirt to wear today. My buddies started chanting; “Wrestle that bear, somebody wrestle that bear!” I said to myself, just to myself; “I believe that’s… mostly… hair.”

What happened next is forever burned into my brain. I stuck my hand in my pocket and pulled out $1.50 and stepped over that rope. My buddies went crazy. “Go get him, Buck!” I squatted down ‘cause that’s how I wrestled Skip. That bear stood up to her full height and I began to get the feeling that this idea wasn’t a good one. She came for me. Have you ever had a bear come for you? It doesn’t take that long. My mind was screaming for my feet to run, but back then my feet only smelled. They didn’t hear. But my stomach overheard the conversation and took action when that she-bear grabbed me in a significant bear hug. Down we went and as near as I can recall my face was right where that first cub would have suckled. We became intimate! She kissed me. She French kissed me! Why, we were about to go steady when I hollered and they let me up. She wanted to get married but we had to break it off. Our backgrounds were just too different. Although, we’re still friends on Facebook.

My buddies clapped me on the back and hollered; “What’d you last? Two Seconds!” I didn’t say nothing, just went home and changed my pants. A couple of weeks later, I was going into the barber shop after school and this nice lady stopped me and asked, “Pardon me, are you the same young man that wrestled that bear the other day down at the used car lot?” I looked her in the face and decided she deserved a honest answer. So I pondered her question. “No M’am, I am not. And I never will be again.”
I noticed this past weekend that the “snow birds” are back from down south. It gets monotonous talking to them. “Oh, what a wonderful time we had down south.” Perhaps you know some of them snow birds yourself. Well, Mother and me, we talked about it and we thought we’d try it. Tell you right now, don’t bother. We spent the entire winter in Nicholasville and we couldn’t see a bit of difference. Am I the same fella that spent the entire winter last year in Nicholasville? Why no. And I never will be again.

Don Buck P. Creacy can be reached at doncreacy@gmail.com