"Dead Man's Corner" Part II
All was well in our little world until Dinty, my mother, called. We left Long Branch around 1:00 PM; it was now 7:00 PM.
For some strange reason, the phone rang extra loud that day at grandfather's house, which made us all stop what we were doing and stare at the phone. It rang again shockingly louder, the second time wherewith my grandfather walked quickly over and picked up the phone. We all were silent because the phone had a strange ringing-like alarm, which made us all pause. Immediately once my grandfather said "hello?" there she was on the other end of the line screaming at the top of her lungs screeching, "SOMEBODY KIDNAPPED KAREN AHHHHHHHHHHH!" Grandfather told her, "calm down, Cynthia, now get a hold of yourself," but mother went on crying that even the police are out looking for her and they can't find her!" Mother then demanded that "Sonny needs to come home right now!!!! She was sobbing the entire time.
Grandfather quietly said, "Dinty… sweetie… Karen's here with Sonny." It was like the silence before a tremendous clap of thunder erupted, a pause, and then my mother was screeching at the top of her voice. "WHAT….GET THAT BLACK MOTH##$%% ON THE PHONE." My grandfather reluctantly held the phone out to father and said, "come on, Sonny, come over here and speak to your wife." All the fun had drained out of my father's face. Daddy got up from the table and picked up the phone, and said, "Cynthia, I'm sorry I didn't even realize that I didn't let you know; I thought I told you… I don't know. I took Karen with me, babe. I'm sorry." He comforted my teary mother, and she demanded he come home right now!
Father gathered up our stuff hastily. He took one last swig of his like 4th beer and said, "I gotta go, dad Cynthia's pitching a b--ch." Then he turned to me and scolded me, saying, "why didn't you let me know you didn't let your mother know you were going to Atlantic Highlands with me!?" In which before I could reply, Great Aunt Jenny Carter responded! "She a six-year-old baby! Don't go blaming her for what grown folks should know about hmphf!" As we rushed to the car Aunt Tink yelled out the front door as we were pulling out of grandfathers driveway that mother had called "again, and said she needed eggs from the store and that she's still pissed!"
Laughter erupted from my grandfather's house, but my father's eyes were full of anxiety. He rushed down to the little Red Store on the corner of Navesink Rd, but it was closed. He now seemed extra worried because he failed in letting my mother know that he had me with him. And now he couldn't get the eggs either. Suddenly he had to pee. My dad said, "Aw shit, I got to pee." I was sitting in the back seat and said, "well, let's go back to granddads!" He said, "no, they told me to get the eggs and go straight home!" He then murmured, "I know where to go." He shot down the street, and U turned the car around to a small patch of field
A wooded area by a corner on the road called Dead Man's Corner. My father said, "stay right here; daddy's got to go pee bad!" I protested and said, "somebody could come and kidnap me here sitting in this big car all by myself." He grunted and said, get out of the car. Hurried me to the parchment of field and said, "stay right there, daddy's going behind these trees back there to pee." Daddy shot off running to the trees with his back to me almost 100 yards. Dad played football & boxed for the Army. On a side note unfortunately, ever since the Korean War, daddy had a problem with holding his water. He was a medic.
Being left in this field - all alone I began to look around, and I noticed large stones, and I shouted to daddy, "what are these rocks doing here in the field?" He said, "shut-up I'm trying to pee their gravestones!" I thought they didn't look like gravestones. They look more like markers, nothing like the old gravestones on the corner. Dad was still peeing, so I focused my attention out on the field. Standing there, seeing the golden evening sun beaming down on the golden wheat-like field, I thought, "how beautiful this place is." It was twilight.
As I stood focused on the beauty and serenity of the place, suddenly there he appeared. He was a tall, pale white man with a red British jacket. He wore a big black hat, black boots, and gold buttons. Ashen, eyes so sad and filled with grief. It was as if he experienced a world of pain, trudging through rear bushes, now walking in plain sight, through the golden field, on this hot Indian Summer day.
He moved in the direction towards the bushes that would go towards Bingham Bridge. I wondered, "why is he dressed in such attire - Is there a costume party somewhere? Halloween isn't until October. And why is he so sad?" Simple thoughts of a six-year-old child, but suddenly I realized laying on his back was a gun….a very long gun with maybe a knife on the end of the weapon he was carrying! The man hadn't noticed me at all until I began to scream "Daddy!"
My back was still to my father, who was peeing back by trees, and bushes, of a graveyard maybe 100 yards away. The tall British soldier paused for a second, staring directly at me as if he knew me. I froze for a second because now I realized hat the tall white man could see me too. I screamed again, "Daddy," in which my father yelled, "What's wrong with you!!?" I turned and ran to my father, to warn him and he turned and shooed me back because he was trying to zip up his pants (LOL); he didn't even know why I was yelling!" My father said, "get back to the field; what the heck is wrong with you!" I hesitantly ran back to the area when suddenly I could see the British soldier now clearly. He definitely could see me across the golden fall field of Navesinks Deadman's Corner battlefield.
Though weary and tired, the British soldier started to walk towards me hurriedly as if he was concerned. Although his gun remained on his back, in my mind, he was still a white man with a gun, and they just shot Rev Martin Luther King. So instead of shouting just Daddy, I screamed to my father, "Daddy, there's a white man with a gun!" Which made the soldier suddenly stop. And go into like a protective stance. It was like he motioned plus swerved around with his sunken, sad eyes to me to see where the white guy with the gun I was screaming about was; remember, I was a six-year-old who knew nothing about the Revolutionary War or the existence of ghosts.
Finally, my father came from behind the tree fussing, "Karen, what the hell are you talking about white men with guns ain't nobody out here?" And I said, "look, daddy," in a whispering voice, him right there." And my father looked out in the field, and shock resounded in his face. My father's jaw dropped.
End of Part II The end of story will be shared in Part III Friday Oct 29th 2021