Days of the Schutzhelm

Jeff Morgan’s home was located jus’ east of my home. Inside, he had a World War II German helmet and my friend, Robin Kohse wanted that helmet. I agreed to get it for him because our life-long friendship was falling apart and I was willing to do most anything to save it.

Watching a friendship fade is hard on the heart and isn’t necessarily guided by common sense.

Getting into the Morgan’s home turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. I smashed a large rock against the sliding glass door, only to watch as the rock exploded into a thousand pieces.

While hiding in the nearby woods, I studied the situation. I noticed a window that wasn’t fully closed.

All that stood in my way was a window screen. After struggling with the screen, I finally got it off the window frame. Unfortunately I bent the screen so badly out of shape that it was unusable from then on.

Within a few minutes I had the helmet in hand and rather than going back out the window, I left through the front door. I also collected the damaged screen and left the scene of the crime.

That screen eventually found its way into a small pond in the middle of the pasture. It was the only thing I could think to do with it, even though there were acres and acres of forest surrounding me.

On my way home I was stopped by my next door neighbor, Marilyn Coke. She saw the helmet and wanted to know where I had gotten it.

Being put on the spot, I lied, telling her it was a mail-order item. Her husband, Bill would later ban me from coming over to his home or even speaking to his wife without first being addressed.

Two days later I still had the helmet in my possession when the dreaded knock on the front door came. It was Deputy Walt Woodstock and Jeff’s dad, Earl.

They knew I had the helmet as several neighbors watched me as I crawled into the Morgan’s home. Mrs. Coke also confirmed this since she had seen me with the helmet.

Mr. Morgan had with him the crumpled up screen as well. He was very angry with me and rightly so.

Never have I felt so low in all my life.

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