Adam and I were in the pasture picking black berries when we discovered a square-shaped hole dug into the ground. It was about 3 feet by 3 feet at the opening and around five feet deep.
It was located near the left field fence of the old baseball diamond, partially covered by brambles and other brush. We quickly turned it into our secret hiding place, dragging a piece of discarded plywood over to create a lean-too roof.
All the rest of the summer, we played combat and cowboy and Indians using the hole as a fort or fighting hole. Later we found a stack of old bricks and painted them gold in order to make them look like gold bars.
We stashed them in an old metal box in the bottom of our hiding place. Because of this, we started calling our hide-out, “Fort Knocks.”
Then one day, as summer was fading, an older neighbor boy named Steve Wolcott found us playing there. He ruined our fun by informing us what the hole really was and if we cleared back the rest of the brush behind the hole we’d know he was telling the truth.
After poking through the tangle of blackberry vines, tall weeds and grass, we found what he was talking about. In the vegetation, laying on its side, were the weathered and broken remains of an old outhouse.