Sure enough, I saw it, Bill flew right through the air. Wasn’t too graceful, the landing had much to be desired, but Billy Sewell flew without wings!
It was one of those hot July days, temperature up close to 100 degrees, too hot to play ball or ride bicycles. We were looking for something to do, then somebody offered the suggestion that we venture over to Mrs. Draffen’s apple tree and gather a few treats. That was a great idea, in the shade of the apple tree we could enjoy a leisurely afternoon with green apples and salt.
When we got to the tree, it was just behind Jim Provine’s house, we were careful not to trample the young corn that was growing in the acre around the tree. Besides, the corn gave some protection from being seen “stealing” the green apples. Now, the apple tree was located on the property adjacent to Mrs. Draffen’s parent’s house, the Greens, it was vacant but occasionally Mrs. Draffen would drop by to check on things. But, the odds of Mrs. Draffen dropping by on a hot summer day was significant in our favor.
Once we arrived at the tree, a plan was organized to maximize the value of our time. Billy Sewell would climb the tree and toss the apples down to the rest of us. We would stuff the apples in our pockets and keep our eyes open for that “big black car” Mrs. Draffen drove. We were busy, pockets full, encouraging Billy to come on down. Then, it happened, the “big black car” spun into the gravel drive, the door flew open, and a short woman with a screaming voice bolted from the front seat. She began yelling and coming toward us with threats and words. We scattered into the corn, ran as fast as scared rabbits can run, fell down in the corn, secure in the shelter it provided. But, Bill Sewell was in the tree, but not for long. I saw it, Bill flew down like Peter Pan, hit the ground running, came flying into the corn, and disappeared behind the McLemore house.
Mrs. Draffen promised in her loud voice to call the police. She got back into her car and sped away. We all assembled at Jim Provine’s house, told Pop Hulen, Jim’s grandfather, of our near-death experience and ate our apples. They sure were good but the best part of the evening was our remembering the look on Billy’s face and his exodus from the tree. What a day, the day Billy Sewell flew!