The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Mike Sunderland
Thoughts from a Grey-Haired Point of View 

How to Stop a Bully


In my preteen years our family lived in a subdivision across the river from downtown Fairbanks, AK. Besides having one of the best home we had lived in up to that time, the housing area was surrounded with a virgin forest that was a perfect playground for youngsters. We hiked, played hide-and-go-seek, and went fishing in the Chena River on the forest’s edges. Tree forts were built in many tall pine and spruce trees.

The forts were used for several different purposes. We played war games, waiting for our enemy to approach our hide-away and then dousing them with squirt guns and buckets of water. Rarely were they used to stash anything of value.

Three youngsters who lived relatively close to the woods chose to stash their comic books and other magazines (that they didn’t want their parents to know about). Usually, theft of items left in the forts was not common. Oh, we would borrow a squirt gun or two from a well stock fort but only after asking permission of the owners. When through with them they were always replaced.

Well, someone pilfered comic books and the more risqué magazines from the above mentioned tree fort. The owners investigated and were given some “reliable” information from one of my area antagonists. According to that person, I was thief. No matter what I did, or said, or provided eye witnesses to the contrary, the owners of the magazines could never be convinced of my innocence.


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