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PRETEND....

Story by Sharon Young Jebavy

My brother, Harold, is three years older than I am and when we were very
young we lived on a small farm in Lawrence County, Kentucky.  Unlike city
kids we couldn't just run down the street and find a friend to play with.
It was a real treat when some child could come and play.  Jean and Sue
Preston, daughters of Jay and Marie Burchett Preston, were close play mates.
As were Willie Gene and Odis Dean Hayes, along with their cousins Earl and
Fred Hayes. Usually, we played alone.  So being the inventive person that he
is, Harold made up friends for us.  The three friends that I remember were
Stooger, Right Johnson and Giddie.

Stooger, Right Johnson and Giddie were world travelers...real globetrotters.
They had their own airplanes and they flew around seeking adventure...much
like Indiana Jones.  Harold was just beginning school in Miss Olive Davis'
Meades Branch School classroom.  He learned of far away exotic places.
These adventurers would fly around and catch snakes, lizards and crooks!

Once Harold and I sneaked off down to the creek which was absolutely
forbidden.  Just as we approached the creek we thought we saw a big white
ghost and it sent us flying back to the house.  Stooger, Right Johnson and
Giddie were off on an adventure but when they got back they looked for the
ghost since they were the original "ghostbusters," Of course, they didn't
find anything.

The dress of choice for these three was the ever popular safari
outfit...they wore these clothes when they helped us make poke berry ink and
ate green applies with us.  When we'd climb aboard our cardboard box to
slide down the grassy hill in our yard these guys would be right with us.
Harold says they invented this favorite pastime.

We romped through the barn with our three friends and they were with me when
I'd sneak off to the chicken house and load my dress tail with eggs.  Course
by the time I got to the house half the eggs were on the path behind me and
already scrambled!

Stooger, Right Johnson and Giddie were wealthy. "How else do you think they
could be globetrotters?" Harold asks. they also had lots of antique
cars...Nashes, Chevrolets.  Real nice cars too.

Stooger, Right Johnson and Giddie had two friends. A man named "Ec" and a
woman named "Omic." Harold says he heard the word "economic" somewhere and
thought it was "Ec and Omic" and that these would be great names for two
friends for our three playmates.  Ec and Omic were married but they were not
the world travelers that their friends were; they were real homebodies.  I
asked Harold if they were wealthy and he said they must have been because
they didn't to any work.

It seems that lots of country kids have pretend playmates.  May dad had Joan
Ankle and Todd Johnson (I wonder if he was related to Right?) and my mom and
her niece had Ellie Perkins and Silk Green.  I guess some folks would worry
about their kids playing with pretend friends but none of us seems to have
suffered any ill effects from our associations with these invented
characters.

My brother became a pastor, I became a wife, a mom and a real estate broker.
We don't recall what happened to Ec and Omic but....somewhere halfway up a
little hill on what was once our farm at Georges Creek, KY are three sort of
flat little stones that mark the graves of Stooger, Right Johnson and
Giddie.  Harold officiated (it was his first sermon) and I picked flowers
for them.  It seems that shortly before we moved to Columbus in 1950 they
were lost in an airplane crash off on one of their adventures, in some far
away place.
 
 


 
 

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