Buried Treasure

It's for real folks! Three other men and I know where there is a buried treasure! It could be worth a fortune, or not. I don't know about that part. But it is there. I know, because we buried it … a long time ago.

We were not pirates hiding loot. We were boys making a life passage.

It all came about because my brother, myself, and a couple of friends had dug a fantastic hole in our back yard. It was probably close to five feet deep. It was undoubtedly the the coolest thing in our neighborhood.

From the beginning of our project, my mother had a dim view of the operation. Her hints began as imperceptibly negative comments. “You boys better fill that hole in before the house collapses into it!”

Eventually she escalated to less subtle expressions of displeasure. “You boys better fill that hole in before your father gets home!” That transition probably took less than an hour.

I seem to recall we took our chances and Dad had some comment like, “Hehehe, wait 'til they have to fill it in when it rains.”

We took that as carte blanche approval and continued our excavation for the next few days until the hole reached the epic size I have already described. And it rained as Dad had predicted. When all the gooey mud dried out we got the eviction notice. “Fill the hole in by the end of the day.” It was like digging in baked adobe.

I don't know who had the idea. It may have been Mom trying to urge us to fill in the hole. But someone suggested we bury our GI Joes and all our gear. We were adolescents on our way to becoming men and we had certainly outgrown them as toys.

The idea was an instant hit and we put our names on everything we could label. We placed our GI Joes and all the accessories in shoe boxes. And with no fanfare, those objects on which we had projected our aspirations of heroism were buried. We probably should have had some important adult give a speech about growing up. But that only happens when adults want to prolong a moment. For us, it was just time to live in our own skin.

So, what brings this to my remembrance forty-plus years later?

Because I'm planning to bury another treasure. Only this time, there will be clues …