Afternoon, Friday Night Fun One crisp fall evening when I was about 11, maybe 12, I was at the kitchen table doing my schoolwork. It was Friday night but I didn't want it hanging over my head all weekend. It was 9:30 pm and I just finished it up. Gramps was sitting in his corner of the kitchen, listening to country music on his old Philco. Real country, Bob Wills or Hank Sr. I heard Ike's truck grind into the back yard and squeal to a stop. Doors slammed, kitchen door opened and in came a short, round gal followed by Ike. Ike said this is Terry and introduced Terry to the family. Gramps just sat there grinning, not taking his eyes off Terry's chest. Then Ike asked Dad if Hop can go with us, I need him to help me move some of Terry's stuff. Everyone called me Hop. Dad said yeah, if his schoolwork is done, have him back by midnight. I squeezed into the truck beside Terry. She took up a lot of my side of the seat. Terry wasn't really fat, just comfortably so. She has a very cute face and bubbly voice and laugh. And, she smelled good. We headed back to town, skirted the edge and wound up a steep hill overlooking part of town. Ike drove back into an unfenced field far enough the truck wouldn't be seen from any roads or streets. Then, we all got out and unloaded the back of the truck. Out came a large tank, like the ones they have oxygen in and two boxes of stuff I couldn't identify in the dark. Terry held a flashlight while Ike layed out a large dark fabric object and a big spool of thin nylon cord. "This is a balloon and that tank is helium, help me fill it." I helped Ike hold the balloon up while he fastened the end to the nozzle, turned it on and we could hear helium hiss into the balloon. It slowly took shape into one, huge dark blue balloon. Ike taped a strip of foil to the side of the balloon, tied off the end then tied a small flashlight to the line as we released the balloon. It rose into the night air fairly fast, the lit flashlight swinging underneath. Higher and higher it rose. The gentle breeze took it out over part of town. Eventually we could hear voices and shouts as the swinging light on the balloon was spotted. The balloon, being dark blue, couldn't be seen. The foil on the side reflected light in an eerie way. We played around with our "mysterious light in the sky" as the local radio station and newspaper called it. We would rell it in low, let it rise high, up and down long into the night. Finally tiring of our sport, Ike cut the cord and let it drift up and away. Terry worked at the town's Woolworth store. It's what we had before WalMart came to town. The helium tank belonged to the store and we had to sneak it back. I don't know where Ike got the balloon. All went well and we headed home, to wait and see what commotion we caused. Terry came home with us. Somehow I knew she would. Well, the strange swinging, rising light in the sky was the talk of the town for several days. It even made newspapers in other towns. Sheriff Hagan came by and visited Dad and Gramps a few days later. As he was leaving he noticed the spool of nylon line still in the back of Ike's truck. He looked at me, grinned, then left. I think Sheriff figured it out but nothing was said. And that's how farm boys amused themselves in the late '40's early '50's.