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I met David some time in the nineties, he was the youngest son of some new friends that we had met at a social gathering. David was about 14 when we met him later at his home for a cook out and he was fascinated with the freckles on my wifes arms and was trying to count all of them. David was not a normal child, he was autistic. After we got to know his parents and him better, we offered to bring him down to the lake for the weekend and give his parents a rest.

On his first visit to the lake for a weekend outing, we cooked some hamburgers for supper. We had planned on eating the hamburgers, chips and beans on the rear deck, but David informed us that he would have to eat in the kitchen, so we ate in the kitchen with David. His mother had taught him to only eat at the kitchen table and that was that. As a side note, David needed braces and his family arranged to have them placed on him. The dentist told him to brush his teeth something like 12 times a day and good old David did what the dentist requested. They tell kids to brush 12 times a day, hoping they will brush 6 or 7 times, but David did what was requested and almost took all the enamel off his teeth. They then told him to brush six times a day which he did. Back to the hamburgers, David opened up his bun and looked at the hamburger and said softly, wheres the beef, then a little louder, wheres the beef, and he got to the point that he was shouting, wheres the beef. I sure you'll remember the TV commercial that Wendy's or someone had during the nineties, thats where he got it from. When David would start something like he was doing with wheres the beef, you would have to tell him to go outside and get it out of his system. After about 15 minutes or so, he got it out of his mind and came back in and ate his hamburger and chips.

David could see an airplane in the sky and tell you what kind it was and what type of engine or engines that the plane had. What the dry and wet weigh was and in some cases, how many passengers it could haul. He loved beach music and could tell you who sang what songs and when it was popular.

On David's first trip to the lake he was afraid to get in my boat and go fishing with me. So, we fished from the dock and he caught some bream and small catfish. Size did not matter to David, each fish was a trophy and I had to take a photo of every fish he caught to show to his mom and dad.

The next summer, I gave David a Zepco 303 Combo. for his birthday. I handed the outfit to him and he made a bee line to his bedroom and closed the door. Later his mother informed me that he stayed up in his bedroom looking and feeling of that outfit for several days, only leaving his bedroom to eat and go to the bathroom.

That same summer, David returned to the lake with us and this time he went out with me in the boat and we caught a bunch of nice bass and catfish. As the sun was setting, David was starring at it with a smile on his face, I asked him what he was smiling about and he said, you would not understand. When we got back in, I took a photo of David with all the fish. David's older brother had given him a flute and he could play it real good. But, with everything he did, he would start out softly and get louder and louder, again he would have him go outside until he had done his thing. That Christmas, we went over to David's house for a party and David was showing everybody his photo of the bass and catfish that we had caught. Someone asked him if I caught any fish and he said, do you see Mac in the photograph, some character he was.

On another trip to the lake, David and myself had to go to Lowes to get something. On our trip to the store, I heard one of my tires flapping like a recap tire does when it is coming apart. So, I stop and check all my tires and they are okay. I start back up and within minutes I hear the same sound and pull off the road and check my tires again, nothing wrong. Get back in and go a little further and the same sound is heard, then David starts laughing, he was the one making the sound and was beside himself for fooling me.

David continued coming to the lake with us until he turned 19 and every trip was an adventure and treasured by my wife and myself.

When David turned 19 he was placed in a group home with others, along with a house mother and he got a job at a grocery store. He fell in love with a young lady at the group home, who had freckles, and did quite well with his job. When he departed his mom and dad's house, along with his clothes, he took his Zepco 303 Combo., which he never used, but treasured, plus his fishing pictures.

Some time in the nineties there was a movie made about autistic children and I was requested by the producer to furnish him some of my stories about David and myself, which I did. Never knew if any of what I submitted was used, not did I see the movie, which was made in the Piedmont Section of NC.

Frankie and myself were not the only ones that would take David for the weekend, his parents had a lot of good friends and they deserved each and everyone of us, and so did David.
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