Bigfoot Encounters

San Diego County California 1960's
"We junped the boogie man...."

I read Ray Vanderpool's Flynn Spring Story just yesteray and thought wow, I should probably tell my story. I also grew up on the other side of the highway 8 in Flynn Springs in the 1960's; I still live out here but I don't ranch like the old days.

At the time we lived next door to a property that grew avocados, it sprawled out for what seemed like miles in my young mind but probably was several acres, I don't rightly know anymore. We didn't play hide'n go seek like the Vanderpool kid did but we played cops and robbers. The big television shows of the era that influenced how we played were "Paladin," "Bonanza," and "Rawhide" with Clint Eastwood (as a kid) so we played like we were those characters; they were huge in the life of a 9-year old.

But on to the story that might interest you. Along side the avocado ranch was a small group of apricot trees, peaches and I think there were some citrus in there too. Back in those trees was an old delapidated farm house that leaned precariously to one side that kids used as a "fort," a hangout. I could always go there and neighborhood kids would be hanging out playing games. This happened in early December, sometime before Christmas that year. The days were short and it was dark at dinner time. Me and my cousins went to this old farm house to play, no flashlights or anything, we just knew the way somehow. Inside we had candles we stole from home and matches that we lit that made shadows on the wall that was spooky to us kids.

Sometimes we just sat around trying to scare one another with the flickering shadows on the walls. That is what we were doing when we heard something outside. Peeto shushed us up (he was older) and we listened. Then we saw this large shadow pass the window and I thought my dad was coming after us; we weren't supposed to play in the old farm house because it was structurally dangerous, but you know how kids are, we were invinceable. Peeto says, "it's yer dad, run, hide!" I think my dad isn't that big, he was short and stocky. We owned a local fruit & fresh egg stand there in Flynn Springs at the time.

Then the huge shadow passed the front door that had oval obscured-like glass in the center of it and I said, "that isn't my dad, he's not that big." It was probably Earl, he was the biggest kid around here and went to military school some place; he was the neighborhood brat.

We decided to go out the backdoor, rushed him full on and scare the daylights out of him for coming around our secret hiding place. Peeto, me, Sam and little Tommy huddled together and when the shadow came around the corner of the farm house we jumped out in a screaming mass with our hands out claw-like hoping to scare the wits out of Earl. We jumped screaming and the big shadow jumped back. It wasn't Earl. Somebody yelled, “Run for your life!!

It was a boogie man that was as tall as the exhaust stack on the motor in the pumphouse. We screamed again and the boogie man screamed back so loud that I blubbered up and started crying. Tommy and Sam went flying home leaving me and Peeto alone with this monster. I grabbed onto Peeto’s shirt-tail, and was crying loudly to get me home. I don't remember any details of the monster’s face but I remember it had what looked like a fur coat on and that it was big with shaggy legs sticking out. It seemed like it towered over us.

Looking back now as an adult, I think it was a Bigfoot. The monster had hands like a man and hairy feet like a man but no shoes on. The monster had a beard. It was not my father and it was not my older brothers playing tricks because we talked about it later on.

We ran inside the farm house and hid under the staircase. I don't remember that the monster did anything but stand there. It did not follow us inside but we could still hear it outside making noise. I remember the noise it made was so terrifying to me that I made myself sick; it made deep breathing sounds. Then the boogie man passed the window, I think twice and it made deep low noises, not a growl or anything, but low kind of short snort sounds like a loud gulp.

Then Peeto's dad and older brother came out to the farm house after Tommy must have told on us and they took us on home. They both carried rifles; I lost touch with Peeto so I don't know why his father carried a rifle.

After I graduated high school I heard the old farm house burned down. Probably some candles had burned the old place down. I don't know what happened to the other guys. I still live in the area but never saw the boogie man again after that. Peeto, the last I heard went away to join the Marines and on to Vietnam. If you post this maybe someday he'll read this and find me where my parents used to live. I am still called "Hoss Cartwright" after the big character in Bonanza that ran on television at the time.

Thanks, Hoss, April 2012

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