Since Labor Day is the last “holiday fling” until Thanksgiving, I submit this story. When I delivered The Dallas Morning News as a school boy, we had the rest of the day to goof off. The aforementioned term was used to describe free time in 1959.

Family and friends used to attend picnics at Burger’s Lake near Fort Worth. Ahh, this was the adventure land of my youth. My old pal Gary had a Dallas Times Herald route. That meant he had afternoon delivery. On this day, however, he could go with us because he obtained a sub to deliver his papers.

Burger’s Lake is open today. It’s a good place to picnic. The swimming area is a natural, spring-fed, man-made pool with sandy beaches, trees and abundant picnic tables.

Lunchtime was approaching, and we could taste my dad’s hamburgers! However, we were ready to explore. Gary and I were told to be back soon as lunch time was near. It’s funny how time flies when you’re 10 years old, but we didn’t notice.

We found a tree house, which became our “hideout.” We were desperadoes fleeing from the long arm of the law because we had just knocked over an imaginary bank. Meanwhile back at “the camp” an hour had passed. The end of the line was near. The sheriff was hot on our trail. We ignored the growling in our stomachs. We had to evade the posse, don’t you know.

Our parents were frantic. They were afraid we had drowned, etc. We had been told to “get lost,” but our parents didn’t really mean it. Lifeguards were searching the lake, and security was seeking us.

It was about this time, that our growling stomachs brought us trudging back to camp.

We were greeted with an enraged, but relived, “Where have you boys been? People have been looking for you!”

After lunch we were sentenced to two hours with no swimming.

Oh well, the Dallas Texans needed some players so we played some football. We made sure that our parents knew that we were at the Cotton Bowl.


Mark Fleishcer is a Daily Sun carrier. His column appears on Sundays.

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