Enjoy Part I of this classic Lonie Adcock:
I WAS TALKING to Mike Ragland the other day about a house on South Broad that was supposed to be haunted. I wasn’t sure about the exact location but I remember an incident, back many years ago. I always called the house on South Broad Goot’s ghost. I remember that the house sat on the corner of a street that turned off of South Broad, just pass the old McCall Hospital. It sat up on a bank and you had to go up the street from South Broad to get to it. I believe that it is no longer there for it was torn down a while back.
There used to be a park at Myrtle Hill where the mausoleum is being built. Every Sunday the park would be full of boys and girls. There was a boy back then that used to come to the park who was called Goot. I remember that Goot had lost a leg and walked on crutches, but there weren’t many who could out do him even if he had only one leg. The city swimming pool was at the end of Sixth Avenue close to the river. On Saturday you could find Goot there, climbing up on the diving board and doing flip-flops off of it.
I remember it as if it was yesterday and how I got into a situation that wasn’t funny. I had an experience with a couple of my friends with a house that was on Branham Avenue, where the apartments now sit. I wasn’t looking forward to another one. When you are young you don’t know when you are well off, so you let your mouth over load you. It was a Sunday morning and the park was full of people. I sat on the bench with a few of my friends taking a ragging about ghosts.
It seemed that someone had told about my experience in the house across the road from the park. I sat down and the first thing I knew was someone had slipped up behind me and yelled, “Boo.” I jumped up and turning to see who it was, looking in to the face of Eddy, one of the boys who was with me that night. Someone yelled, “Eddy you scared him, look how pale he is.” Eddy was a big joker and he was laughing so loud and hard that he had tears in his eyes. I didn’t think it was so funny.
I looked toward the house across the road and a chill went up my back, and I turned and started to leave the park. That was when I saw Goot coming toward me. “Hey, Adcock,” he said, “don’t let these idiots get next to you. Try to ignore Eddy the clown and the rest will leave you alone.”
“Come on,” he said going over to another bench and sat down. I sat down beside him and he began to talk.
“Adcock, some people go through life, and never experience anything more than being a jokester. Eddy is one of them. When he does something to you, give him a sour look. If it doesn’t bother you then it won’t be funny to him and he will leave you alone.” He got up saying, “Come on let’s join the crowd.”
We went over and sat down on a bench and everyone gathered around to listen to what Goot had to say.
Goot looked the crowd over and began to laugh.
“I bet,” he said, “That there is none among you who will go in one of those houses,” and he pointed to them. “All my life I have heard about the haunts in those houses.”
“I WANT all of you who are so brave to come to a party at my house next Saturday night.” He looked the crowd over. No one said anything. He got up and said, “Next Saturday there will be a party at my house. We will play games and eat cake and ice cream. When it gets dark we will go inside, and I will let you meet my ghost.”
He got up and smiled. “If those who laughed at Adcock are so brave, be at my house Saturday night at six.” He put his crutch under his arm and left. Thinking back I am still amazed at how fast he could move.
Saturday came and out of curiosity I went to Goot’s party to see who would come. I arrived to find the porch full of boys and girls. I look back and believe the reason that so many people came, was back then there were not too many things to do on a Saturday night. If you got the chance to go to a party you went. It was just getting dark so we began to play games. If you are old enough to remember back then you recall that the popular games to play were Post Office or Spin the Bottle. The night passed and Goot announced that the ice cream and cake were inside on the table.
“Oh yeah,” he said “and Goot’s ghost will be having cake and ice cream with us.” A nervous smile and a silly giggle and everyone went inside. We entered a large hallway that had a table put up with chairs all around it.
A large piece of cake and a bowl of ice cream sat on the table. We filed in and sat down. Goot took a seat at the end of the table where we come in. This put him at the end where if any one decided to leave they would have to pass him. I was seated about half way down the table with a girl on either side of me.
Read the second part of this Classic Adcock in Friday’s Rome News-Tribune to see if Goot’s ghost made an appearance at the party.