This & that: The ‘Reed Addition’ Boys

Photograph included in this image composite is titled "Three Boys Playing Outside" dated 1920-1930 | Photo via Smithsonian Institution, St. George News

FEATURE — There were seven of us boys growing up. Our neighborhood was called the “Reed Addition.” I never knew why, but I am guessing that the original family who settled the land sold parcels that led to the creation of the neighborhood. And then the neighborhood was “added” to the tiny town of Pittsboro.

We lived on a dead-end road one mile out of town. The road did not just stop but rather turned into an oval once you got past the bridge that lies over the creek. When we had snow blizzards, our road was always the last to be plowed by the county. That was fine with us kids because we knew we would not be going to school. We were impervious to our parents’ stress because they were also missing work.

The Cole boys made up three-sevenths of our group. Scott was the leader. He wasn’t elected or anything, but we pretty much did whatever he wanted to do. My twin, Shawn, was the quiet one. He was very much into fantasy games. You could see the difference in each of us by which section of the newspaper we chose to read. Scott always grabbed the sports section, I would read the front page and Shawn would go straight to the comics.

Our next-door neighbor was Mike. He was the oldest of the group and the weirdest. But weird in a fun way. He always kept us laughing. (He would later compete on Star Search as a comedian. He lost to Geechy Guy by a half star. Today, he is a radio personality in Missouri.)

Jeff was the same age as me and Shawn. He was the shortest, but he was tough and athletic. He had older sisters who were atypical. His sisters were nice and did not treat us like the brats we probably were.

The two Seymour boys made up the last of our group. The older, Steve, was the same age as my brother Scott. He was the neurotic one of the group and tried to keep us out of trouble by being the voice of reason. His brother, Scotty (so named to differentiate him from Scott), was the youngest and completely opposite from his brother. Scotty was carefree and up for any adventure.

Every day after school, we would be in somebody’s backyard playing kickball, stickball, football or basketball. It was usually basketball, but every now and then, we would play one of the other sports. The bad part about these games is, I always lost. The main reason was that my brother Scott was usually on the other team. Not that we were rivals or did not want to be on the same team, but the “fairness” perspective mandated we be separated.

Scott was the best athlete of the group. And depending on whether Mike showed up to play or not, I was second or third. I still remember the first (and probably the only) time I beat Scott. We were playing football. There was no such thing as “touch” football when we were kids. We played tackle. And we were merciless.

Mike did not show up on this day, so the teams were Jeff, Shawn and me against Scott, Scotty and Steve. These were pretty fair teams because Steve and Shawn’s athletic disabilities cancelled each other out. (My gangly, uncoordinated twin brother turned into a 6’8” 280 lb. beastly defensive tackle in college.) So that left me and Jeff against Scott and Scotty. While Jeff and I were able to fare well, we could not stop the game plan from the other team, to wit: Scotty just threw the ball in a high arc and Scott would outjump us to make the catch.

It was getting late in the afternoon and darkness was beginning to set. Finally, after the score was tied, my brother announced that the next score would win. Of course this announcement was made as his team had possession. Scott was crafty that way.

On that last drive, a miracle happened. Scott mishandled a lofty pass, and Jeff corralled the pass and raced the other way. Now our venue (the Seymour’s backyard) was not regulation size. One end of the yard to the other was probably at the most 40 yards. It was probably the fastest 40 time that Jeff ever had. He knew that Scott was on his tail. Just as he got to the goal line, he dove. As he dove, he got a shove from Scott who was trying to push him out of bounds.

Now the goal line and out-of-bounds line shared the same marker: a telephone pole. Probably not the smartest boundary marker, but we had to make do with what was given to us.

Needless to say, Jeff’s dive in conjunction with Scott’s shove planted his left collar bone right into the telephone pole. The collision was scary. Right away we rolled Jeff over to see if he was OK. There was a clear grimace of pain on his face. But after a few seconds, the contorted face turned quickly into a smile as he proudly declared, “We won.”

Our worries turned into laughter, and Scott gracefully conceded the victory. Those small, memorable moments I have of my childhood still echo loudly 40 years later.

Darren Cole is a developing columnist and otherwise sports writer for St. George News. Any opinions given are his own and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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1 Comment

  • IDIOT COMMENTERS January 3, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I never can figure out the point of this column…

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