During the summer of 1960, we took a family trip to the mountains. We climbed inside the Chevy station wagon and headed east from Seattle. Aunt Dee and Uncle Cecil lived in Cashmere, WA. Mom had promised to meet them at a midway point and we would follow them to their cabin. After several miles and songs of, The Bear Went Over The Mountain, Mom pulled into a gravel parking lot of a local tavern.
“Stay in the car,” Mom said. She grabbed our baby sister and shut the car door. She followed Dad inside.
As soon as my parents were out of sight, my brother, Jerry opened the door.
“We were told to stay in the car,” I said. Did he listen? No.
Jerry climbed over a log barrier and ran into the woods. I hopped out of the car and raced after him.
“Come back!” I yelled.
“I want to pet the bear,” Jerry called.
I looked where he pointed. A baby, black bear nibbled on some blackberries. As Jerry got closer, I heard a roar. Mama bear lumbered towards him.
I rushed to my brother’s side and grasped his hand. “Run!”
We rushed to the station wagon and I slammed the door behind us. Mama bear stood on her hind legs and rocked the car. We screamed and held each other tight. Our parents hurried out of the tavern. Dad grabbed a long stick and put his coat over it. He raised it above his head and waved it around.
“Ge out of here!” Dad yelled.
The bear scampered off to the woods. It’s a day I’ll never forget. My five-year-old brother just laughed about it.