A Victims Nightmare
By Joanne Bishop
Growing up in a small middle class town was fine. I went to school with the same kids all of my life. All of our parents pretty much worked together in the Paper Mill there. We could walk anywhere we wanted, day or night and not worry about a thing. There were different groups of kids that hung out together more than others, but for the most part everyone got along well together. There of course were a couple of families that were known as being trouble makers by the local police, small petty stuff, not necessarily felonies. I would like to ride horses with my girlfriends, ski on the lake, ride my bike to the next town ,which was fairly large compared to our small town of 4000 people. I didn’t care much for school. I thought it was kind of boring and there was so much other stuff I would rather be doing. I went and suffered through it though from kindergarten till I graduated. My two best girlfriends were Kathy and Melody. We were friends as long as I can remember.
Kathy was from a pretty large family. Her Mom had been married a couple of times and had kids from both marriages, She lived out in the country and wasn’t able to come into town much and hang out so I would go out there and ride horses and hang out with her.
Melody was a big church goers and her parents were very religious and protective. She was very nice but didn’t know how to have fun. She was always afraid she would get caught doing something and have to be disciplined by her Father who was a very angry person. She had a couple of older brothers that were always in trouble with the local police, drugs, and any other illegal business that they thought they could get away with. Melody and her sister new better than to piss their Dad off and were the nicest kids in town.
I, myself had one sister, Barbara. She was 18 months older than me and loved to find ways to break the boredom of a small town, weather it was going to get her into trouble or not. She would always find the underdog and follow what ever they did. She really had no standards for herself. Our house was one of the places all of the kids in the neighborhood would hang out at. My Dad worked shift work, as did most Dads in this town, my Mother worked as a waitress night shift, in the next town. My Papa lived with us but he was older and couldn’t keep track of what we were up to most of the time, so when we were in our early teen we started finding other interesting people in town to run around with.
One of the Families in town, the Townsend’s were a very interesting bunch. 3 boys and 2 girls. Rick, the oldest loved to race cars. He was his Mom’s favorite and everyone knew it. You didn’t mess with Rick or you would have Yvonne to deal with too. The whole family was into the racing scene to support him and it was quite fun. Terri was the next oldest, She was a big girl, gay, and everyone in town knew it. She didn’t get picked on though because she , as well as the rest of the family was fearless. Mike the next oldest was my age. He was probably the most stable, and I use that term loosely. Then Tracy, He like to hang out with Rick and work on the race cars, Loved working on the big dump trucks and heavy equipment with his dad. You might say him and his Dad were the closest of all. The Dad, Henry didn’t work at the paper mill like most of the parents in town. He worked for a small construction company in town. And had his own small landscape business on the side. He worked hard and stayed busy. I think a lot of it was so he didn‘t have to go home to his wife, Yvonne any time sooner than he had to. She was something else, She didn‘t work other than playing the organ at Sunday church. She was not the least bit of a church person other than when she played on Sundays. She didn’t want the kids around the house until after dark. They had to find something to do after school until time to come home for bed to go to school the next day. She had quite the temper. She once hit one of the kids in the head with a cast iron frying pan for getting food out of the kitchen after school. She was always in her kids business. If you pissed off one of the Townsend kids she would be there to get revenge. Not that the kids needed it, they were pretty much fearless and with all the unsupervised time they had after school, quite creative on finding ways to keep themselves amused weather it was constructive or not. Just what ever amused them at the time.. They were well known by the local police department. It seemed like one of them was always in trouble with the law for something.