IRH - Spot and Balogna Rings

This section is to honor the works of Russ Lancaster who started the “I Remember Hamlet” web site years ago. Without his pioneering the web at that time we might not have gathered all these memories of our Hamlet, NC. We thank you Russ for what you started in 1996, may you Rest in Peace. Russ was kind enough to let me download his web site before he took it down. Thank you Russ.
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IRH - Spot and Balogna Rings

Post by David » Sun December 1, 2019, 11:04 am

Spot and Balogna Rings
a boy and his dog
1940s - 1950s
by: Russ Lancaster
Throughout the late 1940s and all of the 1950s, my most faithful companion was my dog named Spot. There will be more stories about him to come. This is but one of them that took place about 1957 when I was 16.
Spot's favorite food was anything that I ate and some things that I wouldn't eat in a million years. Tops on his list were apple cores, pecans, Ritz crackers and balogna rings. You know what I am talking about, but just in case, I will explain.
For starters, lets just call them "baloney" rings instead of balogna. That was just to show you I can spell but it will be baloney for the rest of this story. Baloney rings are the cellophane or plastic rings around the outside of pre sliced baloney slices. You know, you peel them off from around the baloney slice when you make a baloney sandwich.
Whenever I would come home from school in the afternoons, one of the first things I would do was see whatever I could find to eat. Spot was also very interested in whatever I could find. If I could find a slice of baloney, he would always get to eat the ring. To him, it was just like baloney. It smelled like baloney, looked like baloney and tasted like baloney. If he knew he was being shorted by just getting the baloney ring, he never let me know.
By the way, he could have let me know. He was a very smart dog. He was a mixed breed, mostly eskimo spitz, but he had a few black spots and a black mask on his face, thus the name "Spot". When he was really good, I sometimes called him Porgy, pronounced "Por-geee" with the "geee" like in "Gee whiz".
In cold weather, he and I would hike down to Kinsman's Lake. It is all developed now, but back then it was all woods, trails, creeks and big old Kinsman's Lake right in the middle. There was a spillway there and we would stop there first to see how frozen the lake was if frozen at all. If there was ice at the spillway where the water flowed the strongest, then there would be ice all over.
To test the ice was no problem at all. I would just throw Spot out on the ice and if it held him, it would be all right. If not, he knew how to swim back out. You probably think this was cruel but, believe me, it wasn't. Next to eating, Spot's favorite habits were chasing cars and swimming. He didn't care if it was cold water or not. He liked to swim.
On this particular day, I threw Spot out to test the ice and it broke. He had no trouble swimming back to shore where I helped pull him out. I thought he had lost his mind though because he started doing a "butt drag" through the dirt. I noticed something hanging from his rear. I didn't know what it was but knew I had to do something before he rubbed his rear raw.
I caught up with him and planted my foot on "it". He kept on "butt dragging" and my foot pulled out an entire baloney ring from his rear.
Then I really started laughing and Spot proceeded to beat me up. He had me down on the ground, biting my jacket in the back where I couldn't reach him to get him off me. He was hurting me but I still couldn't quit laughing.
When we both finally clamed down, I made a vow to never again feed Spot a baloney ring and I never did. I did throw him back in the lake many more times though. Good old Spot.
Yes, I remember those cold days and the thrill of finding Kinsman Lake covered with ice. I remember Spot and how he tested the ice for me. I remember those afternoon snacks and Spot's love of the good stuff to eat like apple cores and baloney rings.
But most of all... I remember Hamlet

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