Tell me a funny story about one of your siblings
My older brother Greg and his friends bought an old school bus and rented a campsite along the Stillwater River at the Triple R Ranch, located a few miles west of Troy, Ohio at the intersection of State Route 55 and Kessler-Frederick Road. They got to be good friends with the owners of the farm, Bill and Helen, and would frequently help out with farm duties like getting firewood for bonfires and hauling hay for the horses. When I turned 16 years old, they allowed Greg’s little brother to tag along, and while I didn’t drink beer as they did, I was useful for driving them into town for more, and I made sure to bring along a few bags of snacks to share. After awhile I was accepted as part of the gang.
We went to “The Bus” pretty much every weekend, driving up on Friday night and coming back sometime on Sunday. In addition to helping on the farm, we played football, fired shotguns, canoed, raised a vegetable garden, went skinny dipping after dark in the summer, and skated when the river froze in winter. We would hike on the since-abandoned, Penn Central train tracks, which included walking over the river’s towering train trestle, to see the Christmas lights at Ludlow Falls. Camping there was a year-round affair and we would keep warm in the winter with the help of a dozen sleeping bags and Coleman stoves.
My brother liked to sleep outside under the stars. The farm was divided by a gate that kept the animals on one side and the campers on the other. We entered the farm, which was about fifty feet higher in elevation than the campgrounds, drove down the hill where someone would jump out to open the gate and close it after the car went through. But not always did the gate get secured properly. That all led to my brother waking up one morning next to his burned-out campfire staring upward into the face of one of the many sheep that had come through the open gate. We all thought that was hysterical, particularly since the sheep really did seem to like Greg. We would tell him that the sheep seemed to wink at him and we would bray “Gre-a-a-a-g” in our best sheep imitations whenever he was close to them, a joke that lasts to this very day.
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