This story was told by Dr. William Neile of Wichita Falls, Texas who as a young boy of 13 years was a member of Boy Scout Troop 1, Wichita Falls. Troop 1 is getting prepared to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Events like this are just a little part of the reason the Troop has been so successful in attracting young boys for that 100 years.
This is just one of hundreds of stories of happiness, triumph, and wonder that the young boys of Troop 1 created without even trying.
It was a dark, mid-week evening, the stars were twinkling in all their brilliance, and about 20 of the Troop were carousing in the local church hall waiting for the official Troop 1 meeting to commence.
In walked J.J. Jennings, one of the Troop’s Eagle Scouts, resplendent in the way he normally showed up, looking just like the guy every mother wished their daughter would bring home. Older than all of us, dressed to the nine’s with a pressed uniform, his hair well laid back, and spotless. His tie was not even a little out of place.
Giving a little whistle and a nod of the head, was the signal for all of us to head outside to the alley behind the church to see what was up. In awe and wonder, out from under his jacket came a 32-inch flintlock mussel loader.
There stood 20-plus young boys, eyes open wide, the whites gleaming in the reflection of the starlight, all in awe at such a masterpiece.
Jostling for a better position, a few bumps into J.J. Jennings, but he soon had the flintlock all primed and stuffed with paper to take a pot shot at the north star.
They all looked up and waited in anticipation for the shot. Excitement built, there was a moment of extreme silence as the boys all concentrated on what was to come.
What came was the loudest bang that probably most of them had ever heard. With their ears ringing, and J.J. Jennings’ face blacker than the ace of spades, the boys all stared at the barrel that had been ripped open like a sardine can.
So much for shooting at the North Star, that wad of paper and that gun just blew up in his face. There was the momentary shock and then the bursting of laughter. First at how J.J. Jennings looked and second for the release of tension after quickly figuring out everyone was okay.
The things boys will do to have fun. Just think, they had all thought J.J. Jennings was the perfect example of the boy every mom would want for their daughter. Well, that image sure blew up in their faces.