In the 1960's, farm flight was already beginning. It's possible both homes had been abandoned by owners who sold their farms for good money and moved to town.
To kids, the emptiness of these lonely houses left room for imagination to expand. The house west of town slumped alongside the road; we pedaled our bikes to it in daytime and wandered inside, wondering at the graffiti and the odd items left behind. Did they belong to the people who left, or the ghosts who stayed?
We discovered the other house in the early 70's. On a double date, for some reason I was driving and not one of the boys, as would have been the usual back then. I parked my father's compact car at the end of a long driveway and turned off the headlights. All four of us, sixteen-year-olds, tip-toed along the darkened lane toward a house hidden by trees, while our eyes became accustomed to the night. We crept up the porch stairs and peered into the windows, but it was so dark we couldn't see inside. Then we heard something. I don't know what it was--don't remember--but it came from the house and I know we all heard it because we all leapt off the porch and ran as fast as we could back down the lane, shrieking and giggling, to tumble into my father's car and make our getaway to the lights of town.
The next day my father asked how the print of a large tennis shoe had ended up on the ceiling of his car.
In case you missed it, we're having a contest here on the ol' PDP. It's called "Camelot Where You Are" and all the details are here on yesterday's post. Enter a photo of Camelot Where You Are to win a copy of my upcoming novel,
"Camelot & Vine!"