Blackwater


The building at Redwood Drive and Highway 101, next to the former Yurok Volunteer Fire Department was originally used by Judge Hopper. But the good Judge had retired a few years earlier so the building was left unused for a while.

After a couple of years it became the business office for Bob White Realty.

However in the interim it was the community center for the small neighborhood. The center had a pool table, two or three pinball machines and a juke-box with all the current music in it.

My friend, Robin Kohse and I used to cop a few coins from my Dad’s cuss-jar and go down the street to the center to play pool and listen to tunes. Robin had even figured out how to turn the juke-box up so we could really enjoy the sound.

One late afternoon, the two of us were shooting a few rounds of pool and playing 45s from the juke-box. One of those 45’s was “Black Water,” by The Doobie Brothers.

It was one of my favorite songs and the only time I was able to hear “rock music,” besides at school or on the school bus. My parents only allowed two-kinds of music in the house: country and western.

When the song came on, the game of pool stopped and Robin and I started using our pool cues as guitars. As we strummed and sang the song at the top of our lungs, we also started dancing around the pool table.

We were so caught up in the music that we didn’t notice the figure standing in the doorway of the center. However as the music started to fade, I looked over to see Deputy Walt Woodstock watching us.

He had his arms folded across his chest, trying real hard to look tough.

Walt couldn’t hold himself back from smiling though as he started laughing. Then without a word, he turned and walked back to his patrol car.

Robin and I stood there watching out the windows of the center as Walt drove away. Then we looked at each other and started laughing until we couldn’t laugh anymore.

Evidently we didn’t have sense enough to be embarrassed about getting caught dancing around, playing air guitar.

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