Clover Road

Clover Road

A Story by Christina May Shanaberg

My first and only attempt, so far, at a shorter story within a short story.




It is always such a pleasure to take a brisk drive down Clover Road, through the cool, dense growth of a wide variety of locally popular trees, bushes, and wildflowers.  When you know it will be your last trip, for a long time, the real beauty of it all smacks you between the eyes and tempts you to stay.  How one seven mile stretch of road can be the site of so many years of memories, shared with an endless amount of cherished friends, nameless strangers, and acquaintances from the hordes of vacationers is uncomprehendable.  All the major events, shaping the lives of local residents, happen right here along this scenic expanse of wild wonderland and overgrown, haunted forestland.  From Haley's Campground to Falcon Lake to Red Man's Stable to Beacon Point to Clover Road Park to Dewy Spring and so much more, Clover Road leads the way for thousands of people to meet and depart, each year.


The first memories for children of Beacon Point are located at Clover Road Park.  It is such an adventure to drift in and out of the sea of tourists; with their lovely and diverse, somewhat musical, accents from towns in states or countries far away.  There are swings, picnic tables, good climbin' trees, wadin' pool with fount'ns, softball diamonds, short footpaths to Dewy Spring, slidin'boards, bugs, toads, salamanders, garter snakes, and poison ivy.  What more could a child ask for?


In those days, there was always somethin' to do and, even if you had done it before, it always seemed fresh and different and exciting.  The days were filled with fun and games, while the nights were dark and mysterious, near Beacon Point.  New people would pass through, day by day, with plenty of children just wanting to play.  As night fell across Clover Road, the beacon was turned on and campers sat around fires to keep the mosquitoes off, as the grown-ups born and raised at Beacon Point told the stories that they heard, as children.


Old Man Ross, who has aways been old, as far as anyone can remember, was the best storyteller, in those days.  Everyone was always captivated by his "true story" of the history of the beacon and by his delightful, at times chilling, stories of Clover Road, for the children.  Now, he just listens to the storytellers that, once, sat spellbound by "his" words.


"'Bout o' 'underd years back er so, when my

grandaddy was a young'n', the the land 'long

Clover Road b'longed ta a man, went by the

name o' Clifford Collinsworth.  Now, Cliff 'adn't

been quite the man 'e'd o' liked ta 'ave  been, 

lookin' back.  So one day, 'e up 'n' turned real

'ligious, 'cause 'e started worryin', maybe, 'e

wasn't gonna git ta 'eaven. 


'E give all 'is land, 'cepting that there 'ill o'er

yonder (Beacon Point,) ta the townsfolk ta 'ave

picnics 'n' family outin's 'n' such.  Well, 'e was

perty sure, then, that 'e'd be gonna see 'is wife,

up in 'eaven.  She died perty young 'n' left Cliff

with two sons ta upbring.


Everyone knew them boys  was real rascals, but

'e always believed that 'e'd brung 'em up right.

Then came the day o' rec'a'nin, 'is eldest boy got

ta drinkin' 'n' 'cided ta rob the bank in town.  The

boy got caught in 'is drunk-state 'n' went ta jail,

fer a long spell.  By 'n' by, the younger son 'ad

gambled 'way the ferchen 'is daddy 'ad give 'im

'n' was livin' like a bum 'n' chasin' loose women.


Collinsworth decided, therefer, that 'e didn't 'ave

that there ticket ta 'eaven in 'is coat pocket,

afte'all.  So, 'e sold that 'ill, 'ceptin' o' tiny lot,

at the very top, 'n' 'e used the money ta build

that there tower ta God 'n' kept a fire burnin' in

a pit, up top.  I figure, 'e guessed so long as God

could see 'im, day er night, 'E wouldn't pass 'im

up, when the time came.


All 'e e'er did was sit next ta that there fire,

readin' his Bible 'n', when the fire got low, 'e'd

throw on some more wood.  Ladies from town

would go up there 'n' make sure 'e eat, 'cause

no one really blamed 'im fer the way them ornery

sons a 'is turned out.


One day, the fire went out 'n' everbody knew

what 'ad 'appened er did they?  The townsfolk

went up there 'spectin' ta find Cliff dead, but

truth is, he just plain disappeared, with that

Bible.  No one e'er fount out what 'appened to

'im, but they kept that fire goin' 'n', later, put

in that 'lectric beacon.


Ye'siree, that Cliff was a good man, but 'is boys

was rotten.  'E gave people 'round 'ere a nice

vacationland 'n' keepin' that beacon shinin' is

our way a thankin' 'im."


There was a boy named Alex, who came to Haley's Campground with his Mom and Dad, for a weekend trip.  Alex and I played together, all day, one day, and the next day, we went over to Red Man's Stables to go ridin'.  We rode clear around Falcon Lake, several times, before we decided to settle down and eat our lunches.  Alex kept askin' me whether I heard some weird noise, while we as eatin', and I'd listen hard, but I couldn't hear nothing'.  After we ate, we laid down on the grass, next to the lake, and I dozed off, for just a second.  When I woke up, the horses was gone and Alex was, too.


Gosh, was I ever scared.  I looked around and called for Alex, but nothin'.  I started runnin' for the stables, fallin' over fallen limbs and stumblin' over my own feet.  My knees and elbows was all scraped up.  If I found Alex at the stables, safe, I was gonna kill him.


Well, when I got to the stables, the horses was there, but no Alex.  Everyone had been worrin' 'bout us and, when I ran in alone, they were really worried 'bout Alex.


Some men went out lookin' for him in cars, trucks, and on horses. They looked everywhere and by dark, no one had located him and there was talk of draggin' the lake. His parents had been called over to the stables and his was hysterical.  He hadn't turned-up at Haley's, either, if you was thinkin' that.  Alex had vanished.


I started wonderin' 'bout them noises he heard.  Kidnappers?  Murderers?  Wild animals?  The unknown?  Poor Alex, gone, without a sign.


The search went on and on, without a clue to Alex's whereabouts.


He heard a noise that I didn't find strange.  What was it?  I thought and thought.


Of course, finally, I knew.  Ross took me to Dewy Spring to check out my idea.


Sure enough, we found Alex; Poor Alex.  He had heard the rushin' waters of the spring and fell in, when he found it.  He had been washed into the hollow cavern, underground, and no one heard his cries for help, as he held on to the cavern walls.


He was cold and wet, but just fine.


Let that be a lesson to you; watch were you go alone or you may NEVER be found, before it's too late!

© 2010 Christina May Shanaberg

Author's Note

Christina May Shanaberg
One o' them thar tales gits telled 'round campfires!

I wonder how many writers, whom later became superb storytellers, got their start listening to or telling yarns around a campfire.

From experience, these stories can be a great, yet subtle, way to teach your children of dangers, when camping.

My Review

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Featured Review

I enjoyed the story and the style of writing. The descriptive narration of Clover Road brought it to life in a charming manner. The end was a bit of an anti climax having built it up through the story of the old man, which by the way was amazingly told! I had visions of Alex being taken by the Ghost of Cliff who had also similarly disappeared without a trace. I also thought where you find Alex we would also find what happened to Cliff, maybe his bones, which would tell a tale why he disappeared. I was very glad Alex was alive!
You have the skill of writing so let your imagination run wild, I am sure we will enjoy it! Story telling around the camp fire in the jungle camps still continue and is highly popular, in this case the love of animals and the dangers of the forest. Story telling still grips the young and old alike!

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


You do have a natural storytelling style. This was another nice, comfortable read.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Part 2, Alex saw Cliff?! You left me wanting MORE of this. He was found cold and wet. This is a story within a story. Seriously, thank you for ending it that way. You must continue!

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You always weave a good story. I think you had a friend that told stories around the campfire that you were thinking of when you wrote this story.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is good. I like the feel to this. As if you were just sitting around listening to grandma or grandpa tell you a story. And I liked the way you incorporated dialect.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great story! I really like the story within the story. Thank you for sharing.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a story!!
cided ta rob the back in town. *should be bank :)

Poor Alex! Wow, he is lucky to have found a place to cling to.

Thank you for sharing a story within a story.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is simply amazing!
I really throughly enjoyed this read.
remarkable read.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Sweet, and wonderful imagery, but I have to agree that there was a bit of an anti-climax.

However, this was great writing, and very enjoyable. Good job! :)

Posted 9 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I like the story. Those stories tossed around for generation never lose their value. I learn from listening and reading. Nothing better then a man or woman who can tell a good story. A outstanding story. Thank you.

Posted 9 Years Ago

2 of 3 people found this review constructive.

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13 Reviews
Added on April 30, 2010
Last Updated on May 2, 2010
Tags: Adventure, Mystery, Intrigue, Family, Childhood, Camping, Fun


Christina May Shanaberg
Christina May Shanaberg

Mount Vernon, OH

I am a former member of North Shore Writers' Guild in Willoughby OH. I have had numerous poems published and letters. I am, currently, working on a screen play that I hope will interest my cousin-in.. more..


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