In 1968 Hespeler was a small quaint little town with its own personality and we all existed peacefully together and there was always an air of calmness over our little piece of heaven, however in October of that year everything changed for me because that is when a stranger entered our lives and The Chestnut Incident happened.
Let me start at the beginning( makes sense don’t it?), as an 11-year-old lad one of my interests was the game of Kingers, a game that involved Horse Chestnuts and was played by almost all young boys and girls and dated back to the 1800’s and since Hespeler had many chestnut trees almost all of us played at one time or another and I was no different, and in my yard were two of the most magnificent chestnut trees in Hespeler and I used them to my full advantage. I always had a good sack of nuts ready to go in the fall and spent many hours baking , polishing and varnishing my nuts till they shone like the hub caps on my Dad’s prized Pontiac. I always made sure that the hole in the center was just the right size so it would not interfere with the molecular structure of my nuts. And I had some good nuts indeed, I actually had one nut that became a 12 kinger, for those unsure, that means it won 12 times before being beaten. Most of us never lost more than a few nuts to each other and that is the way we enjoyed it until the new kid showed up with his hulking sack of nuts. None of us were sure where Jack came from but one day like hair showing up in the oddest places he appeared and wanted into our floating Chestnut games and even bragged about how his nuts could take down any old Hespeler boys nuts with just one swing, and the challenge was on. I am not sure who challenged him first but the battle did not take long and jack had his first victim and another piles of nuts to add to his collection, and this went on for over an hour until it was my turn. I reached into my sack and pulled out the biggest and shiniest nut in my bag and stared at Jack like we were mortal enemy’s and when the dust settled my chestnut lay beaten and battered as Jack did his grinning victory dance over my sack. As we all sat stunned, not believing that this had happened, Jack took his winnings, filled his bag with all the best nuts from Hespeler and slowly started to walk away, back to wherever he had come from and we all agreed never again to talk about the Chestnut Incident of 1968 and the mysterious kid named Jack.