Light & Shadow #4

Caught in the act — Circa 1977

What kid hasn’t wanted to feel grown-up and test the waters by emulating behaviors of the adults around them?

Cigarettes carry zero appeal for me. One childhood memory of dad and grandpa is their friendship with Camel Straights. ‘Humps,’ as my buddy Derrick calls them.

Occasionally, Sunday visits to family and friends were in order. We would pile into the car for the 2-hour trip. Mom, grandma, and my younger brother sat in the back while I plopped myself between the adult men in the front.

As we traveled through the high desert of Idaho along old Hiway 30, what could one do to pass the time? Smoke, of course. In a car with hermetically sealed windows, dad would light up, and grandpa would too. The smoke was so thick you could cut it with a knife and the stench overwhelming. I swore abstinence as a tender 5-year-old.

But there was one time.

Tom and Linda’s parents and my parents were friends. On one particular visit, one or the other of them swiped a pack of smokes. Pall Malls if I recall. They lived in the country, so it was pretty easy to slip off for our foray into adulthood.

I don’t remember much about the event except that Tom drank ditch water to rid his mouth of the taste. I think he must have swallowed because it wasn’t long before he was sick. I suspect his mother knew why despite our denials of any shenanigans.

Fifteen or twenty years later, as I walked to my car one day, I looked around and saw this sneaky pair. They didn’t seem to mind as I aimed my camera their way.

One must be careful when judging appearances, such as how the sun appears to move across the sky.

The boys were smoking cigarettes made of candy.

3 thoughts on “Light & Shadow #4”

  1. Congratulations on the new website!

    Of course, I love L & S #4! And what a great, simple lesson about making decisions based on only a brief appearance. Love the stories!!!

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