by Lukey Caslin
My chestnut, waist-length, wavy, thick hair was damp along the hairline as I pedaled my bike passed the neighboring,1950’s, neat, mowed lawns of homes on that hot Pennsylvanian, late-July day. I was barely thirteen but still played outdoors most of my summer. Dad would be home soon and we would work on our project of installing a split cedar two rail fence around the grazing pasture for our horses, Shane and Sugar. In the cooler, late afternoons, we would cut the cedars, split them lengthwise with a chainsaw, then haul them down from the mountainside on our WWII Burma Mule six wheel drive. Our project was put on part-time because Dad was working on building a tall smokestack for the power plant. He was the foreman because he was one of those guys who could build anything, right and solid; besides, the money was good. Our family kept a few western pleasure riding horses, warmbloods and two ponies, and a goat. We did all of our own repairing and maintenance.
It was an engaging life. Waiting for dad as I coasted home passed some neighborhood kids who lived nearby, and whose fathers were regular nine-to-fivers with new cars, new bikes, new T.V.’s, new stuff. Their fathers sold out, sold their souls to the companies or institutions for new things. The sound of a 1960 Opel Cadet was approaching, with two different colored fenders and a new sound blasting out of the windows, Dad singing, "Light My Fire” cheerfully with that big, cheerful smile: “Hey Lukey, let’s go…” So, off I pedaled, one of the kids saying “quite the car.” Yep, it was quite the car because Dad and I didn’t sell out. "Light My Fire" will forever be attached in my memory to a warm, Pennsylvanian, July late-afternoon when life was great and we really did have it all.