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Seven and Seventy
(A trip back in time)

by Ron Kitson

If Doctor Wonmug were to offer me a trip back in my lifetime and told me to pick a year, I'd need a little time to think about it.

Not to decide if I wanted to take him up on the offer because, after over seventy years of transporting caveman Alley Oop and his gal Oola back and forth from Moo, his time machine should be pretty well perfected. However, I would need a little time to pick the year in my life to revisit.

First off, I understand it's really not going to happen so I don't need to worry about altering history. I also understand how I would be tempted to predict the future and everyone would think I'd gone berserk.

I went to bed very tired but still thinking about it. (Yawn) How about oh, let's say 1943 back on that 100 acre farm near Little Britain, Ontario. (Yawwwwn) Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I'm seven years old, we have a radio in the kitchen along with a wood-burning cook stove, a hand pump by the kitchen sink to bring water up from the cistern in the cellar. We have one electric light in each room of the house on the ceiling and a couple in the barn. The beds each have a light that hangs from the headboard.

The phone rings (a long and a short) and Mom runs to answer it as do a few others on the party line. Well, they don't really answer it, they just pick up to listen in for any news like how Grandpa's doing, or if Dad bought that new cattle truck yet. They keep a hand over the mouthpiece but you can hear a click when they pick up the receiver.

Actually it was Doc Hall calling to see how my foot is doing since I stepped on that old board with the nail sticking up. She told him the swelling has gone down quite a bit and most of the redness is gone. She had put some Anti-pain oil on it and that seemed to help a lot.

Dad had told her to pour some coal oil over it. That's what he used when any of the cattle got an infection between the hooves. I think he called it mud foot or something like that. He'd soak a rope in coal oil and then pull it back and forth in there to clean it out and it seemed to work pretty good but Mom decided to stay with the Anti-pain Oil. I think it had some alcohol in it that would cleanse it pretty good. Then my sister started making fun of my sore foot and I told her to go take a hike and Mom turned around and told me to be quiet so she could hear the doctor.

I couldn't resist telling my sisters how this is really in the past and that I'm just visiting from the future but that didn't go over real well. When Mom finally got off the phone she lectured us about being quiet when she's on the phone. I said "maybe you need some new dry cells in the phone" and she wanted to know why I thought I knew so much about telephones.

I told her "it won't be long until all those old wood phones will be gone and we'll have a nice little phone with a rotary dial on the front and you'll be able to dial someone's number yourself, you won't have to yell into it, you'll be able to hear the other person real good and you won't need all those dry cells. Eventually, we'll have phones with no wires and you'll even be able to carry one in your purse and".."wow, he's gone loony, no wires?"... ha ha ha ha ha ha (that was my sister).

Then Mom said "well, I'm sure the phones will get better in a few years but they'll always need wires." Then my sister said "I think Ronald's been reading too many comic books, next thing you know he'll be tellin' us we'll be able to look at the radio and see the announcer ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

"Well, they already have them, they're called television sets. They've already been invented but they're still working on them and they'll need TV stations to broadcast the video signals for us to watch."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! (That was my sister again) And then a plane flew over and we all ran outside to get a look at it. "Sounds pretty low, wonder if it's in trouble." Of course I had to tell them about jets with no propellers that would carry hundreds of people at a time and cross the Atlantic in about 7 hours. And how some will even fly faster than sound creating a sonic boom and that someday you could have breakfast at home, dinner in Paris and be back home for supper.

And then Dad came in and my sister started telling him what I'd been saying and could hardly talk for laughing and then Mom and my other sister started laughing so hard they all had to sit down and Dad said "that's enough nonsense, what's for supper?" Then I added "someday they're gonna have satellites and space stations orbiting the earth and even land men on the moo"--"I said that's enough nonsense. By the way, your pet calf is in the woodshed. Go put her in the pasture with her mother."

The Kitson kids and calf in 1943
The Kitson kids and calf in 1943

Dad was starting to get irritated on top of being hungry and I knew it was time to shut up. I knew better than to say all those things knowing no one would believe me anyway but it's so hard to know all that stuff and not tell anyone.

At the supper table I stayed pretty quiet but the girls kept nudging each other and giggling and then Mom would start to laugh and Dad would grin and ask "what's so funny?"

After supper I felt like being alone so went for a walk down to the creek and went for a swim since no one was around, felt pretty good y'know. It all seems so weird, here I am in the present and the past, aged 7 and 70 at the same time with all those memories of the future.

I know my father lived well into his 96th year and past away in 2002 yet I just saw and heard him and he's only 37. I know my mother is 94 and living in the Manor yet I just saw her as a young mother and house wife with us three young kids and I'm in kind of a spin. I'm seven years old yet I have two grown kids and four grandchildren but can't tell anyone. Man, would that tear 'em up.

I'd like to go back to the house and tell Shirley about my computer, e-mail and the Internet. She'd ha ha ha until the cows came home. We're all going out to help dig potatoes in the morning so better get to bed early tonight. They'll be getting us up at daybreak so we can get some work done before it gets too hot out.

Each bedroom has a register on the floor to allow warm air to come up from downstairs in the heating season. It's also a great place to listen and learn and soon they sent the girls off to bed. The conversation in the kitchen then centered on me. I heard Mom say "Ronald has been acting really strange all day today telling us crazy things about the future and talking like someone much older and using words I've never heard before."

"Probably those silly comic books he's been reading, where's he getting them?" Dad asked. "Oh, I bought him the first one and he keeps trading with other boys in the village. But he seems to know so much all of a sudden and I'm a bit worried about him." "Ahhh he's all right. He's likely picking up some new words listening to those crazy radio programs like Buck Rogers. Oh, the news'll be on the air in a minute."

I heard the radio click on and in about ten or fifteen seconds, (it takes a while for the tubes to warm up) I heard them introduce the news from CBL Toronto. It was mostly about the war and wasn't good. I could tell them how it's going to turn out but I'd better not. I've said too much already.

Then I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew, Dad was bumping his toe into my ribs and telling me I shouldn't be so nosey. "You've got a lot of spuds to unearth in the morning so better get some sleep." I went to bed with an imprint of that floor register on the side of my face and my ear was a little sore.

(Yawn) Lying in bed my thoughts soon switched to golfing back in Ohio and the other guys in our foursome; Larry, Ed and Al.

(Yawwwwwn) The next thing I knew someone was shaking me. "Hey, wake up! You'd better get moving if you wanna be at Bunker Hill by 7:00 ...is something wrong?"

Naaa, it's just that I was suposed to dig potatoes this morning." What??? "Oh, guess I was dreaming."

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