The Tree House
When I was a kid, I had a treehouse. It was nothing like the one pictured here, it was more of a platform with walls, high up in a tree. The treehouse was in the woods behind my house. The woods didn't belong to my family. The tree house didn't belong to my family. I'm not even sure who built the treehouse, but it been there since I was old enough to find it while wandering around deep in the woods one day. It became a hangout for all of the neighborhood kids. Every day after school, all of us would meet at the treehouse. I don't remember what we would do there... probably just play around it, climb the nearby trees, etc. There really was nothing to do In the treehouse- it was just a place to meet, but we all loved it.
One day I was sitting in the treehouse with my friends when all of a sudden several uniformed policemen appeared from nowhere. They had been staking the place out, waiting to catch some potheads that someone had reported. They asked us if we had any marijuana. I was about 10 years old, and very naive. I had no idea what they were talking about. None of us had ever heard the word marijuana. The more they asked us, the more it sounded like we were lying. How could we have not ever heard of marijuana? They told us that there was a report of some kids doing marijuana in the treehouse and they were trying to catch them. It was obvious that they had the wrong kids, but they had peaked our curiosity. For weeks, all we could think of was getting some marijauna, whatever it was, and taking it to the treehouse.
One day when I got home from school, I saw firetrucks all over the neighborhood. The woods were on fire. We were told that the fire was probably started by the potheads- a careless cigarette or joint probably ignited a pile of leaves or pine needles. All of us kids stood nearby and cried at the thought that our forest home was burning. My Dad and our neighbors formed a bucket brigade- pouring water on as much of the woods as they could in order to save our nearby houses. Their efforts payed off- our homes were saved, but there were acres and acres of charred landscape abutting our backyards. And our treehouse was history.
Shortly afterwards, the land was cleared off and new homes were built. A subdivision known as "King's Row" was born. Instead of a tree house, we had dozens of new families with kids our age to play with. Some of the kids that moved in are still my friends today.
To this day, I still wonder about the validity of the pot heads-- I don't think they really existed. I think it was a story made up by a greedy developer that wanted to build a subdivision. I guess I'll never know for sure.