THE SUMMER OF THE SLINGSHOT

I was 12 and Darrell was 10. We grew up 2 houses apart and were the best of friends. Our summers were spent outside playing make-believe games, dreaming of girls and just doing boy stuff. Every childhood memory I have includes Darrell, but no memory is more vivid than the summer of the slingshots. Everyone on the block carried a slingshot that summer, including Big Curtis, the neighborhood bully who lived two blocks away.

It was a simpler time and life was good in the neighborhood. Our biggest worries in life were that our moms would make us come in early and do chores or that Big Curtis would show up just to bully us around.

Curtis was older than us. He was also bigger, faster and stronger than everyone else on the block. As all bullies would, Curtis loved picking on Darrell because he was the smallest kid in our group of friends. Thankfully Curtis wasn’t a regular visitor to our neighborhood. But when he did show up, he’d reek havoc on our Summer day of fun.

I’ll never forget that one summer day when Big Curtis showed up for another afternoon of bullying with his slingshot around his neck. In those days if you didn’t have a pocket to carry your slingshot, you simply wore it around your neck like a necklace. Then when when you needed it, you had it close by. When Curtis showed up that day he immediately ended our game and started trying to pick a fight. Curtis got up in Darrell’s face, their noses two inches apart, and said, “Come on squirt, I double dog dare you to start something with me.” It was like Goliath challenging little David, and we stood around watching like the scared Israelites.

I never expected Darrell to do anything, because he never had before … no one ever had. Big Curtis had spent many a day bullying us without one person ever standing up to him. But today was different. That day would be celebrated from this day forward as VBC Day … “Victory over Big Curtis Day!”

What happened next will forever be ingrained in my memory. Some who saw it think it was because of the “double dog dare” that Big Curtis challenged Darrell with. As you know, double-dog-dares are impossible to turn down when you’re 12 years old, but I think it was something else. I think it was that Darrell had spotted a weakness in Big Curtis that no one had ever seen before. It was the slingshot Curtis wore around his neck like a necklace.
The sling shot dangled from Big Curtis’s neck as their noses were two inches apart. Just about the time Big Curtis’s challenge rolled from his lips, Darrell quickly reached up, grabbed the wooden handle of Curtis’s slingshot, pulled it down as far as he could stretch the rubber band and let it fly back towards Curtis’s head. It was the shot heard around the neighborhood. The wooden handle of the slingshot smacked Big Curtis HARD right under the chin. I remember Curtis’s eyes immediately turned solid white just before he stumbled and fell face first to the ground with a large crash. Goliath was out cold.

I’m not sure what shocked me more. The fact that someone had just stood up to Big Curtis or that it was possible that he lay unconscious there in the dirt. As we stood over Big Curtis’s body, our hearts beating a million times a minute, we did the only thing we knew to do … we ran away as fast as we could. I have no idea how long Curtis lay there in the dirt because we were miles away within minutes.

From that day forward Big Curtis wasn’t all that “Big” anymore. The Goliath in our lives had been defeated by the littlest David on the block. Darrell walked a little taller that summer knowing he had done what everyone thought was impossible. Big Curtis didn’t come around much after that. Oh, occasionally he’d wander through our neighborhood, but when he did, he never bothered any of us anymore. I know he was humiliated because it got out at school that a kid two years younger than him had knocked him out with one pull of a slingshot. While Big Curtis never wore his slingshot around his neck again, what he did wear from that day on was a big scar on his chin where the slingshot hit him.

I miss those simple times as a kid, but more than that I miss my friend Darrell that we lost four years ago this past week. He will forever be a champion in my eyes!

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
21 Comments Post a Comment
  1. e3 says:

    THAT was an awesome story. I was hooked from the beginning. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. doug young says:

    Thanks for sharing the memory Bro!

  3. theresa@denniswilson.com says:

    What happened to Darrell? You guys were like an odd couple back then you being so tall and him so not tall!

  4. Donna G says:

    That could be a scene out of Christmas Story. I love stories from childhood. Thanks for sharing.

  5. westcoastwitness.com says:

    Yeah – no one ever stood up to the bullies in my neighborhood.

  6. Maria says:

    lol, that is a great story! Hmmm,I am wondering, what ever happened to Big Curtis?
    Thanks for the giggles!=0)

  7. TREY MORGAN says:

    My guess is no-so-Big Curtis is in prison somewhere… ha ha ha

    OR he may be a preacher now! :)

  8. Maria says:

    hmmm, lets give him the benefit of the doubt and say he is one great preacherman like our Trey!!=)

  9. Gallagher says:

    Baa haa haa haa…that was a great story. I might use that as a sermon illustration one day…of course, I will say that it was from you.

    I wonder what happened to Curtis.

    Thanks!

  10. Gabrielle Eden says:

    You’re too young to have your friends dying on you…

  11. cwinwc says:

    We all need Darrells in our lives. Thank you for honoring us with the memory of your friend.

  12. outnumberedlisa says:

    Man, everyone has slingshots on the brain. I got my husband one for Christmas, and then a few days later out of the blue he tells me he’s gotten one for his brother for Christmas. Someone at work won a slingshot from the crane machine we have in the lobby. And now you’re telling a story about a slingshot that saved your life!! Phew.

    Great story, Trey, though I don’t advocate violence, of course.

  13. blogprophet says:

    hey, i thought i left a message hours ago. what happened?

    anyway, that was awesome, lewis grizzard level childhood story

  14. Stoogelover says:

    And you say you are not a writer, but a blogger. That was an excellent piece of writing, my friend! I love a story when the bully is put in his place, even at the expense of a sling shot to the throat!

  15. Cornelius Crew says:

    Thank you. I really mean thank you. Hearing it from you makes me feel a little part of him is here again. I miss having a big brother here with me. He was always my protector and would’ve challenged any bully for me. Thanks for remembering and thanks for loving us like you do. I miss him too.

  16. Haley says:

    You sure have a knack for story telling!! As sad as it is when we don’t have people in our lives anymore; it’s so neat that we are able to look back on the times we did share with them and smile!

  17. Johnny says:

    Thank you for sharing so deeply from your heart. We have never met, but I know you to be a good-hearted man because of the depth of your sharing.

    I have to tell you, I imagined the voice over effect like from the movie “The Sandlot” while reading your post.

  18. fraizerbaz says:

    Ooooh, ouch! I’d say that Big Curtis got his just desert! And yes, it DOES seem like a scene right out of A Christmas Story. :-)

  19. Hannah Grace says:

    Thanks for sharing what a fun story..lol

  20. Dwight says:

    The Bible says to turn the other cheek. However it doesn’t say anything about chins. Bullies don’t understand anything but their own medicine. Great story. It needs to go into your book.

  21. nb says:

    Great story!

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
  • He was pretty tough to listen to as well.
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  • Chin up Childress Bobcats. We couldn't be prouder. Great fight tonight.

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