By Clay Reid
Not so long ago, kids did not have the luxury of having these fancy games and phones everybody has these days. Xbox, PlayStation and such were unheard of during my day. So we had to make our own PlayStations and come up with our own brand of entertainment with a deal called “imagination.” The good thing was my imagination was awesome.
Sometimes it was a little too awesome as my mama would say. In 1979 my mama had had enough of my imagination, I suppose, and kicked me and my siblings out at my dad’s house in Wichita Falls.
I guess she needed a break from dealing with us hoodlum children, and I can’t say that I blame her. We weren’t no easy raising, I can assure you. (I painted her hair orange with a can of spray paint one time while she slept).
Anyway, shortly after she kicked us out, a tornado came through and wiped out half of Wichita Falls. I promise I had nothing to do with it. You can get me on a lot of things, but you can’t pin that one on me. When that tornado came through there, I saw it do some things that just can’t be explained, and it put the fear of God in me. The next day I went to building me a place to hide just in case it showed up again.
Out behind our house there was a bit of a hill and about 10 acres of scattered mesquite pasture. It was at the top of this hill where I started digging. I dug, I dug and I dug some more, until finally I had a six-foot by six-foot hole in the ground. Then I went and drug up some old lumber and put a roof on it and shazam! I now had a redneck cellar built for ol’ Johnny Clay.
I was so proud of that hole until about a week later a big ol’ rain came through and it turned my cellar into a swimming pool. Some of the neighborhood rugrats laughed, but I told them that if another one of them big giant tornados came through, I didn’t care how much water that hole had in it, I would be jumping in and taking my chances with drowning. I am a vey good swimmer.
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