It’s one thing for the people of this area to be out in public around here, I mean people look over it. But, every now and then, some escape. Like the one time when four of the local men decided they were going to Florida. They took the coon dogs so they could go hunting for raccoons and one of them had always wanted to see the ocean, so road trip it was.
They made it to Florida rather uneventfully and got ready to hunt the first night. Now, when asked if they knew someone down there to hunt on (which translates to do you know someone who will let you hunt on their property down there) they replied that they didn’t, just stopped beside the road and let them dogs out. So, I guess this is what they had done that first night. So they were following the dogs and the area they were in just continued to get swampier. They were finally traversing through a large creek (this was how they described it), when one of the guys shined his light off to the other side of the bank. “Look at the size of them bullfrogs they got down here.” The man said as his light reflected off a large pair of eyes. “You dumbass, them ain’t bullfrogs, them’s crocodiles!” That successfully ended the night’s hunt. The guys went back to the truck, which had a camper top on it. The group would never had thought of renting a room for the night, so they crawled in the back of the truck and went to sleep. They were awakened the next morning by noises outside the truck. They emerged into the bright sunlight to find a couple of men working on the road. One of the guys walked over to the road workers (who happened to be African Americans) and asked, “You fellers know where we can find any coons at around here?” One of the road workers responded, “What?” Another of the men, afraid that the road workers had been offended, rushed over the the first speaker, “Now, don’t you go calling these here niggers, coons.”
None of them thought they’d make it out alive. Finally after not having much luck in the strange state, they decided to find the ocean, so they could begin the journey back home. The men found the ocean, got out of the truck and walked down to the water’s edge and stood, staring out into the expanse of water. The man who had always wanted to see the ocean cleared his throat and looked to his companions, “I always thought it would be bigger. Let’s go home.” And with that, the crew loaded up and came back to Hope. I don’t think they ventured that far from home again. And it’s a good thing too.
Now, most all of the men in Hope like to hunt. Women too. But the men will hunt almost anything and go anywhere to do it. Well, as a community, they would go yearly to Ohio and Wisconsin to hunt. The stories that they brought back were often much better than the meat that came with them.
When they would go to Ohio, they would take what campers or motor homes that were available to supplement the small older buildings that were already on the property. All of the guys from Hope would stay in their own little community up there. This was a great setup for amazing stories but maybe not so great for some of the guys.
One rainy day during deer season, Randy and a couple of the other guys had decided to not traipse through the woods in the cold downpour. The three of them were sitting around in an old garage on the property, hunched in front of wood stove, sharing stories, food and maybe a bit to drink. One of the men stood and informed the other two that he was going out to take care of business. The two remaining, my husband included, continued the conversation, until it was interrupted by a tremendous racket from the back of the garage. It sounded as if a bear was going to tear through the back of the building. They looked warily at each other. Randy shrugged, he wasn’t sure what was going on. In a few moments, the sounds ceased. Shortly, the other man made it back into the garage. He sat down and joined in the conversation, as if nothing had happened. Well, before long, the curiosity couldn’t be contained. Randy looked over at him and asked what the racket out back had been.
“Well big man. It’s like this. I had to shit you know and it’s been raining cats and dogs all day. Well that ground looked cold and wet. So I looked around and saw an old milk crate sitting out there. Well, I figured that would be much better to sit down on than the cold, wet ground. So I got that crate and sat down, the problem was that I didn’t notice the big crack in the top of that crate. Well, it gaped open and snagged my old sack. I had a bitch of a time getting it off there too.”
I’m not really sure if Randy laughed or not but I sure did when he came home and told the tale.
I’m not sure why but most of the tales they tell involve bodily fluids. I guess men are just fascinated by them. Another of the stories that they tell, involving bodily fluid is one of my favorites. This happened during a trip to Wisconsin. The guys were traveling in an older motor home that belonged to my husband. Well, the bathroom in it had quit working, so my hubby took the innards out of it. As they were cruising along, the guy riding shotgun got up from his seat and started to the back. “Where you going?” Randy asked. “Gotta go piss.” Was the reply. “Don’t use the bathroom, remember it doesn’t work.” “That’s okay, I’ll just piss in a cup and pour it down the sink.” “No you won’t. That don’t work either. And if you do, I’ll kick your ass.” So went the conversation. After a while, the man made his way back to his seat. “Well, what’d you do?” “I pissed in a cup.” “Did you leave it sitting back there?” “Nope, I opened the door and poured it out.” I always wondered what the people following them down the interstate thought of that rain shower.
Another time, the same man was riding shotgun but another of the buddy’s was driving. The driver was drinking from a large styrofoam cup of coffee, the other was chain smoking. So, there they were, smoking and drinking and heading down the road. Suddenly, the driver spit a mouthful of coffee out onto the dash. “What the hell?” He shouted. “I just drank a cigarette butt.” “Oh, I thought you was using that for an ashtray.” The dude riding shotgun had been flipping his ashes and butts into that cup the whole time they’d been up there.
So you see, sometimes it’s not a good thing to let these guys out of Hope. Like I said, we’re used to them here.