Bullying Incident#19: The Dunes (1973)

There was really a point where I thought that I was done telling the personal bullying stories from my youth. Memory is a very funny thing and how memories return to you that are stuck in the recesses of the brain still fascinates me.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if memories get lost over time, only to be found at a trigger moment. The other thing it makes me wonder is if these lost memories are always true memories at all. This one came back to me recently. I think it stayed back in the lost area of my mind, because it wasn’t as dramatic or have the full affect on me as the kids bullying me in school did. This was quite a different situation, where an adult was the one bullying and I was a very young child, no more than five.

The Dunes

The Dunes

I was living in Bowie, Maryland at the time, not yet having moved to Lexington, Massachusetts. Down the road from my house was  a place my sister and I called “The Dunes”. In my mind even today, it was a large sandy dunes place that was a far cry different from our suburban home. But in reality, it was probably just a large dirt construction zone. No matter, to my sister and I it was the desert of Arabia and we could go there and have adventures.

One day we ventured out to “The Dunes” which was at the end of our street for another one of our play adventures. We got out there and started playing as I recall. After some time, some men came along. They were dressed in hunting gear and were holding Bows with Arrows. I can’t tell you why, although this was the early 70′s and it’s more than likely they were hunting (lucky guess on my part, huh?).

When they saw us, they must have decided it would be fun to scare us off. It’s too long ago for me to recall what they said, but I do recall having immediate fear at seeing them. After all, they had weapons. That’s when one of them decided to string an arrow in his bow and point it at me.

Who knows why he would do this? Again, not recalling what he said, but it was pretty much a threat comment telling us to get out of there or he’d kill us. Now to kids, I can tell you this seemed like a very real threat. In the end, I’m sure it was just to scare us and get a chuckle from his friends. But, again I ask the why question. Why would, years later, a full grown adult threaten kids, jokingly or not? Just like why would an adult mother get on MySpace and bully a teenage girl. Same question, different day.

Of course my sister and I ran out of there as fast as we could. “The Dunes” play area was now ruined for us. We would not frequent that spot again and would be scared of these men returning if we did.

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