Archive | January, 2014

The Legend of Cycle Davidson

3 Jan

After spending most of 11 uncommonly cold days in a deer stand without any interaction with a white tail deer, I had to realize I wasn’t going to have venison in my freezer this year, but I didn’t come home empty handed. All that time alone to think and ponder the sport of deer hunting, and I came home with this…

You don’t hear much about deer camp any more, but there was a time when taking off for the north woods with a bunch of like-minded cronies was, in terms of fall traditions, up there with Homecoming football, stuffed turkey and leaf burning.

Today there seems to be a lot of camaraderie still in the hunting, but a two-week adventure is not nearly as popular.

Some of that is a result of the massive changes that have occurred in two areas: Private transportation and the habitat of the whitetail deer.

When the troops came home after World War II, they came consumed by the belief that anything they wanted to accomplish they could. They’d walked across Europe to beat Hitler, hadn’t they?

These children of the Great Depression also came home to a prosperity of which they’d never dreamed. They embraced both of these realities with equal intensity.

And then there were the deer. In Michigan, prior to the war, the spotting of a white tail in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula was front page news in many communities. That all changed with modern farm practices, and as the deer moved south, they closed the book on “deer camp.”

Dutch Matthews was just one member of that Greatest Generation. He came back to the U.S. committed to living the rest of his life to the hilt, and that meant letting nothing stand in the way of his outdoor adventures.

In 1950 Dutch was a welder at the local manufacturing plant. He had risen from a buck private to a sergeant in the Army, and he had fallen in love with the idea of building teams and leading them into operational maneuvers.

He had also fallen in love with the vast wilderness that encompasses the PorcupineMountains in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Dutch’s outfit was comprised of a local banker, “Dane” Petersen; a main street merchant, “Rube” McCowan; and local baseball great Lefty Rhodes who also worked at the plant.

Like so many of these “deer camp” groups, these same players were known to fish, hunt and lie as a team at nearly every opportunity. And while the annual Deer Camp group normally consisted of eight, these four were the constants while other members moved in and out of the trips as other events in their lives dictated.

So it was in that first year of the 1950s, an accountant at the plant, William Davidson, joined Dutch and a couple of the other fellows at a lunch table. Most of the men didn’t know much about William. He’d only been at the plant for a few months, and he was younger, having spent the war at MichiganStateUniversity, earning his degree.

This day the talk was all about deer camp, just two months away.

The men talked about the all-night drive to the Straits of Mackinac, catching the car ferry at first light, and then getting off to drive to the St. Ignace rail station where they’d pick up a west-bound train that would, for a fee, drop them off, with all their gear and provisions, on a siding in the mountains.

William was overcome with envy as he listened to the men make their plans.

“How do you get home?” He finally asked the group.

Dutch answered politely, “Just like that only in reverse. We pack up, hike out to the rail siding, it’s only a mile or so, and the train picks us up, we ferry back across the straits, and then drive home.

“When does this happen?”

“We take three days to get up there, arriving on the fourteenth so as we can get set up and scout for sign before opening day on the fifteenth, then we hunt for 6 days, and we take three days to get back so as we’re home for Thanksgiving,” explained Rhodes, an inspector on the assembly line.

“Boy, that sounds like a great adventure,” William said in admiration. “How long have you guys been going up there for deer?”

Dutch answered, “This’ll be my third year along with Rube and Dane and Lefty here. We take new guys all the time. You a hunter?”

William shook his head. “No, I’ve never shot a deer. Hunted rabbits and squirrels with my Dad when I was little, but I haven’t been hunting since before the war.”

“Well, if you ever get the idea you’d like to join this outfit, you just let us know. Right now we’ve only got six set, and our limit is eight,” Dutch said as the bell calling them back to work sounded.

The men got up and left William alone, thinking and wondering.

Nobody had ever called William “Bill” or “Billy.” He’d never had a nickname. His light complexion, frail frame, glasses and lack of athletic talent had pretty much nixed his being “one of the guys” in high school. His intelligence, sense of humor and unassuming manner had also given him a pass from the hectoring so many  of the nerdy high school students experienced.

Since coming to this new town and new job, he hadn’t made any close friends with the exception of Mary Jo McCowan – Rube McCowan’s younger sister – who also worked in the plant’s business office.

William sat at the table, wondering if Dutch had meant it about joining that expedition. He couldn’t help but fantasize a bit, but he was brought back to reality when Mr. Gleaner, his boss, called his name. “William, William! What’s the deal? You need to get back to work!”

William jumped with a start, “Golly, Mr. Gleaner,” he said with his normal good natured smile, “guess you caught me wool gathering.”

The older man smiled in return, “Come on; you can daydream later.”

And that’s how William Davidson found himself aboard “The City of Petoskey” making his first voyage of any kind on November 13. He and “the boys” were among the crowd of the deer hunters, dressed in traditional red and black wool, munching on pasties and drinking coffee as the car ferry navigated the five miles from MackinawCity to St. Ignace.

He was beside himself with elation. He was one of the boys for the first time in his life.

At the camp, William immediately established himself as a good camp mate. While he hadn’t had much camping experience, he was quick to any task and almost immediately started anticipating needs – water from the nearby stream; more fire wood or kindling. Whatever he thought of, he just pitched in. Dutch and others observed this without comment.

On opening morning, the campers settled for coffee and donuts. Each had a sandwich and canteen, and they had all established their hunting spot the day before. Dutch and Rube had walked with William, found a likely spot where a deer had fallen to Rube their first year.

“You get here early and settle in; keep your eyes peeled and make sure your target is a male deer and not one of us,” Dutch said in way of briefing. “When you get cold, you can stand up, move a few yards and such, but don’t make too much of a fuss. Deer hunting basically comes down to seeing them before they see you. When that happens, you get a shot; when he sees you first, it’s likely you’ll never see him at all.”

William sat at his stump all day fantasizing that the deer of his dreams would appear at the next instant, but that didn’t happen on opening day.

In fact, by the last day of the hunt only William was without a deer. He had seen several does, but no bucks.

The rest of the party was busy making plans for departure, but they all took turns “driving” the gullies and ravines in hopes of pushing a buck to William’s location.

So it came to the final day of hunting, and William was up in the dark, preparing to hunt. He was disappointed that he hadn’t had a shot so far, but he was upbeat and joyous to be in that place at that time.

Dutch and Rube got up with him, and after he walked away from camp, they marveled at their new friend’s disposition and manners.

“Good kid, there, Rube,” Dutch murmured into his cup. “Gonna be a fine addition to your family from what I hear about him and Mary Jo.”

Rube just grunted. He knew he had no say in the matter, but he was just as certain that nobody was good enough for his younger sister.

“Could be worse,” he finally said.

Long about 9 a.m. Dutch and Lefty had finished their packing and decided to walk a large arc to get well upwind of William’s position, then to carefully sneak down toward the young hunter. “We don’t want to spook them,” Dutch said. “Our scent will move them, and we want them to walk into William, not race by him. Got it?”

“Right, Sarge,” Lefty laughed. “Nice and easy.”

As they were walking the large arc, William was back to his fantasy hunt, dreaming that his buck was en route and picturing where it would be when he first saw it. Dutch and Lefty closed in on William. He sat as motionless as he could, then he heard a small twig break right behind him.

He turned and there in a clearing not thirty feet from him stood a whitetail buck of barber shop calendar proportions. Just as he turned and raised his rifle to aim at the buck, Lefty came upon the scene from a vantage point some hundred yards away and couldn’t believe what he witnessed.

Lefty hightailed it out of there and nearly ran back to the camp, catching Dutch just as he arrived at the cook tent.

“You won’t believe what happened back there.” Lefty was panting from his run. “You won’t believe it.”

“Well, let it out,” Dutch said.

Lefty was bent over, his right hand reaching out to balance himself against Dutch’s shoulder as he fought to catch his breath. The rest of the party was sitting at the table, and all waited for Lefty to speak.

“I snuck down that last ravine; you know the one with the crick? And I climbed up the side and I had a perfect view of that kid on his stand and a great big ole buck just standing there awaitin’ to be killed. The kid eased around like he should’ve, raised his gun like he should’ve…” and here Lefty lost control and started laughing again as like to wet his pants.

“Come on, Lefty,” Rube cried out. “You mean the kid missed that deer?”

“Missed it, hell. That kid took aim and then racked that lever-action rifle five times without ever touching the trigger. Cycled every bullet he had right out of that weapon!”

“Oh, no!” Dutch cried out. “You mean it?”

Lefty told it again, and this time all the party got the picture. Their friendly young nimrod had fallen prey to the bane of deer hunting every where – Buck Fever.

“How we gonna play it?” Lefty asked Dutch and Rube as they watched the final moments of daylight dissolve into dusk.

“Like we know nothin’,” Dutch said. “Let’s wait ‘til he has a chance to tell us how his day went.”

When William walked into camp a few minutes later, Rube poured him a cup of coffee. “Didn’t hear you shoot.”

The younger man gave the older hand a smile that was half frown, and shook his head. “Oh, no, I sure didn’t shoot.”

“See much?”

“Just the buck of a lifetime.”

Lefty looked around at the other guys in the mess tent. “Far off?”

William looked around at the assembled faces and with a sigh of lost opportunities, told the story, finally coming to the end, looking at the unspent rounds on the ground, looking where the buck had been standing before it walked away. “I don’t know what happened,” he said to the group. “I guess I had a case of Buck Fever. But boy was that thrilling.”

Then the whole group started laughing, not at the young man’s mishap, but at the guileless way he told the whole story. As the laughter quieted, William asked in general, “Any of you fellas ever had the fever?”

Sobriety fell like a hush over the group. Like golfers who don’t want to hear the word “shank,” the seasoned deer hunter will never admit to the fever. Heads shook; some eyes were down at the table or suddenly fascinated with the patterns of ice that decorated the eave of the tent.

Dutch took the floor to end the silent lying. “If they’re honest, everyone’ll tell of having a touch, William, but nobody I know ever had a dose like yours.” That got all the heads nodding.

Dane Petersen then spoke up. “I guess this warrants a moniker, you know, to mark it in history.” Heads nodded around again, and William smiled. “I’ve never had a nickname.”

It was Lefty then, “You do now. Forever, you’ll be called Cycle Davidson. That’s a bet.”

The trip home was as much fun as the trip up, but, to William, shorter for the lack of anticipation. He knew he’d be making this trip again and again.

And he did. For four years, he joined the boys in the PorcupineMountains. There were good years and lean, too, the way deer seasons do ebb and flow, but the only constant was William’s lack of a deer.

Oh, he brought home venison from time to time when one of the other hunters scored twice and had William put his tag on it for the trip home, but he never saw a horn in all those hunts.

“Just snake bit,” was the judgment of the others. They’d watched him, practiced with him and consoled him. They put him in “can’t miss spots” and then shot a nice buck where William had kept watch the previous four days.

Then in the summer of 1955, William notified Rube that his sister was expecting their first child.

Rube’s first reaction was to congratulate the younger man, and then he asked, “When?”

“Late November, Doc says.”

“Sure makes it tough on you bein’ in Deer Camp.”

“Don’t suppose I’ll be makin’ it this year, Rube.”

II

And again in ’56, with Mary Jo expecting their second in late November, and again in the fall of ’58 when daughter number 3 was due – it appeared the short deer camp career of William ‘Cycle’ Davidson was over before it began.

With three gals in diapers, the Davidson family required both parents all the time and for the next five years William was in constant demand. Despite his continuing growth with the company, money for Deer Camp trips was better spent on a week at a lake with the whole family.

Always chipper, William listened intently to the stories that came back year after deer camp year, but after the great MackinacBridge opened in November of ’57, he could see the group’s enthusiasm for the trip ebbing.

“Hell, every Tom, Dick and Harry can just drive to our camp site now,” Dutch grumped to the group. “I even went up there to catch brook trout and hunt grouse this fall, and spent most of the first day just cleaning up the trash left all summer long.”

Then in the spring of 1959, Dane Petersen announced he’d purchased an 80-acre “Christmas tree farm” that just happened to be snuggled right up against thousands of acres of state game area in Mecosta County.

“Whatcha gonna do with it, Dane?” Dutch asked.

“Grow Christmas trees and deer, you numbskull. Hell, there’s more deer down here anymore than in the UP. We can camp there; hunt just the weekends, or the whole time. And, if you don’t bring home a deer, you can at least take home a Christmas tree.”

“You got trees there now?”

“Some, but most of what’s there is too big for Christmas, but I’m startin’ a plantin’ program right now. Anyone interested can meet me there at 9 a.m. on Saturday. We’ll plant until 3 or so, and then I’ll feed the whole bunch barbecue. You can bring wives and kids. Hell, it’s not hard work… should be fun. I’ve got ten thousand seedlings, but we don’t have to plant ‘em all in one day.”

The word spread through the group, and on Saturday there were twelve families, including William and Mary Jo and the kids, ready to work and eat Rube’s famous barbecue.

That planting went so well, it became an annual event, and everyone who participated got invited to the farm for a cut-your-own tree outing in December.

That fall was the first deer camp at “The Farm.” Dane, Dutch, Rube and Lefty were the only campers. Dutch had bought a silver 13-foot bullet-nosed house trailer. He hauled it up the weekend before the opener and parked it close to the 20-footer Dane had installed earlier that fall.

The four hunters shot four deer in three days of hunting that first year. Their success was noted by the rest of the group, and that December at the tree harvest, William approached Dane with the idea he might want to resume his deer camp career if Dane thought there might be room.

Dane said he had nine blinds built around the property, placed to ensure good coverage and hunter safety, but as yet there were only eight guys signed up for the week. The spot was William’s if he wanted it.

“I’m in,” he answered.

His next stop was to find out who was bunking with Dutch, and the older man said making room for him would be no trouble. It was all set, and William went to work on making sure his rifle was sighted in at the gun range. He shot targets from a variety of positions so as not to be caught off guard.

He checked out his equipment and found that he’d put on a few inches around the middle since he’d last worn his black and red wool pants and coat. Mary Jo put an ad in the newspaper and sold those and used that money for seed to buy a new set.

By the weekend before the opener, he was ready and excited. But on Friday he got a bit of bad news. Dane called him. “Son, my eldest, Roy, came home just now from MSU and he brought a friend with him expecting there’d be no trouble if he came hunting this weekend…”

William’s heart sank, but true to his nature, he kept a light tone in his voice. “I understand. Will he be bunking with Dutch then?”

“No, but I just don’t have another blind to hunt out of.”

“Well, sure I understand. Maybe next year. Thanks for calling.”

Dane sat at his office phone for a minute, and then started searching around in his desk until he came up with a paper. He dialed the number of the elderly gent who owned the adjoining forty acres that separated Dane’s land from the state game area.

It took only a few seconds to find out that, no, the old timer no longer planned to hunt his forty; and, no, he’d given nobody else permission; and, yes, seeing the problem created by the unexpected guest, he’d love to have Dane’s people hunting there this year.

He excitedly called William. “Son, I just got off the phone with Doc Henry from Lakeview, you heard of him? No, doesn’t matter. He’s given us permission to hunt his property next to mine, and I know there’s an old straw bale blind on the northwest corner that should be good. That’ll be your place, okay?”

Williams’ heart soared, and he thanked Dane profusely.

After work, just before six, Dutch pulled up outside the Davidson home, and honked his horn.

William had his gear piled in the driveway and took no more than a minute to put it in the back of Dutch’s pickup and they were away.

“Well, Cycle, did you forget anything? Looks like you got enough gear to hunt the Porcupines for a week.”

“Nope, I think I got everything essential, plus I brought one of Mary Jo’s apple pies, a batch of her chocolate-walnut cookies and a big bottle of Jim Beam. I think I got everything.

“Did you happen to bring a deer license?”

The air just went out of him as William slumped on his side of the cab.

Dutch couldn’t help but chuckle, “We’ll stop up at Remus and get you one.”

“And I’ll have to listen to this all night like I have to listen to the Cycle story.”

“Think of it as dues you pay to an exclusive club.”

When they got to the campsite, and all their gear stowed, the pair joined the rest of the hunters around a roaring camp fire. Introductions were made, and Roy, Dane’s son, introduced William to his roommate, Harrison. “Harrison, this is Cycle Davidson; Cycle, meet Harrison, my roomie at State.”

The youngster shook hands, and then asked, “Your name is really Cycle?”

William frowned, but before he could answer, Lefty came up, put his arm around William’s shoulder and said, “It’s a well-earned nickname, that’s what Cycle is, and let me tell you all about it…”

Which he did to the laughter and mock horror that had been developed, choreographed and orchestrated over the years.

Through all this, William sat with a smile on his face and hid behind his good nature.

In the dark the next morning, he dressed, picked up his “day bag” with a thermos of coffee, a sandwich and an apple safely inside along with the tools he’d need to successfully field dress and drag home a prize if the red gods were ever to smile on him.

Dutch handed him a cup of coffee in the mess tent, and sat down with a crude map of the territory. “Here’s how this works. We’re here. You’ll go out the tent, turn left and walk due west ’til you reach Dane’s line fence. You’ll cross over that and you’ll be on a two-track trail that will take you along a windbreak line of poplar trees on your right and the mature yellow pines on your left. When you get to the end of the pines you’ll turn left and walk about 30 yards and you’ll find what’s left of an old blind built out of straw bales. There’s a bucket and boat cushion in there for you to sit on.

“It’s a bit rustic, but if you sit still you can command the entire open area between you, the road, and the state game area beyond the road.

“Good luck, and remember, know your target before you shoot!”

William asked, “What about you? Where will you be?”

Dutch pointed out the east side of the tent. I’ll have my lounge chair, a book and my gun right out there. Long about 10 or so, I’ll start makin’ breakfast for any who want it. I did the same thing last year and shot two nice bucks trying to sneak in here…”

William finished his coffee, and started out. “See you later.”

The morning was chilly and dark. There was a slight wind blowing from the west and the air was filled with fog and mist.  When he reached the end of the trail and turned left, he realized he was looking for a black cat in a coal chute, so he flicked on his flashlight and played it over the pines on his left as he walked in the field. There, on a point of pines, was the old blind. He stepped inside and found the cushion and five-gallon bucket as promised and just enough of the old straw bales standing to hide him.

He settled in, looked at his watch, and found he had fifteen minutes until shooting time.

Just minutes after shooting time arrived, William heard a clatter on the gravel road to his right and two does raced into the field, stopped and turned to look back.

This was a familiar instant for William and all the rest of the people who made reading Field and Stream magazine a monthly habit. He followed the direction of the does’ eyes and sure enough here came a buck, racing over the road and closing on the does, moving from right to left. William raised his rifle, put the bead on the buck’s shoulder and swung with him as he galloped at full speed.

Without knowing it, William had pulled the trigger. Flame had shot out of the barrel in the half light, and the recoil had bounced the barrel up in front of his eyes. He racked in another load and got his sight on the buck’s shoulder, swung and fired again. This time he saw the giant buck flinch and slow a bit. He fired again, and this time the deer’s momentum turned it into a complete flip as his hind end overtook his front. The deer lay dead in the field, his antlers buried in the sod.

William looked around. The does were gone. He propped his rifle up against the bales and walked out toward his buck, but then he recalled his training about making sure the animal was dead, and hurried back to his rifle. He walked back to the deer, and careful to stay out of range of those deadly hooves, he poked the deer in the eye with the barrel. No reaction.

He felt a wave of relief pass through him. He knelt down and disengaged the deer’s antlers from the sod, turning his head over and counting the points. Nine!

He dragged the deer back past the blind and inside the first row of pine trees where he completed the process of field dressing his kill. He had participated in the process on deer killed by others, and he was confident if not skilled in removing the entrails, heart, lungs and so forth. He took his license tag out of his wallet and wired it to the deer’s antlers at the base and then returned to his seat in the blind.

He knew that he’d have to sit there a while, but eventually others in the party who had heard the shooting would be coming to help him get his deer back to camp.

About a half hour later, he heard someone walking through the pines in his general direction. He started to speak up, but decided to wait until they broke out into the field.

As he waited, he realized that it wasn’t a person making that much noise, and just then a four-point buck emerged from the tree line about thirty yards away and stopped with just its front half exposed. It was looking away from William, studying that area for signs of danger. William carefully reached for his rifle, and turning slightly on his upside down bucket he brought the sights to bear on the exposed right shoulder, thumbed back the hammer and squeezed the trigger just as he’d practiced.

Snap! He realized instantly that he’d failed to cycle another shell into the rifle after his last shot. At the sound of the firing pin hitting an empty shell, the deer snapped its head around to study William’s direction.

For a deer, there is no passing of time. The boys had taught William that. “They’re just there.  Wherever that might be, the animal is all there in the now. There is no time limit for them,” he recalled the instruction. He sat motionless and waited. After what seemed an eternity, the young buck turned its head back to the other direction and William slowly and carefully worked the lever action to discharge the empty and load a live round in its place.

He raised the weapon, sighted and squeezed. The deer bucked on impact, kicked twice and was still.

William racked in a new round, and then carefully lowered the hammer to the safe position before walking to the deer.

This one was dressed next to where the first deer’s innards still steamed, and then took its place alongside the earlier and much larger animal.

William sat in an almost stunned silence as some rain started to fall. He used wet leaves to clean his hands and arms as much as he could, then retrieved his hunting coat and pulled it on.

He knew some others would be coming, and while the letter of the law prohibited “group” hunting in favor of each hunter killing his own, he also knew that someone at camp would be glad to place their tag on the extra deer.

He didn’t know how long it had rained as he sat there, waiting, but as the rain let up, the visibility improved and he took note of his surroundings. The field in front of him filled the inside of a curved ninety-degree turn in the road as it went from being his northern boundary to his western boundary.

About seventy yards to his immediate west, and directly upwind of his position, there was a portion of a cedar slough that had been cut off by the road, and which jutted into the field.

As he admired the earth tones of the cedar swamp that made a back drop to the brown field, he realized that he was looking right at a majestic buck.

The deer was staring at him, and it might have been coming up out of the slough, but only its head and what taxidermists call the “cape” were showing. Its legs were hidden as was its body.

William doubted his eyes. He looked again, and again, and then it all fell into place for him. There would be no help coming from camp! They were probably laughing themselves sick thinking that he had been sitting over here shooting at a mounted deer head!

He could just see Dane and Roy and Harrison laughing as they brought his bucket and cushion to the blind and then choosing the perfect place to hang some moth-eaten mount… he was disgusted that he would again bear the brunt of their humor. And he knew he was getting just what he deserved after the buck fever incident those years ago.

As he sat there alternating between berating himself and feeling sorry for himself, a car full of hunters drove slowly down the road from his right through the curve and to his left. As the car moved slowly along, he realized his mounted head had turned and was following the car’s progress.

“My God!” He thought. “What should I do?”

As the car disappeared off to the left, the deer brought its attention back to William, but now William was sighting it down the barrel of his 30-30 Winchester. The crack of the rifle dropped the deer in its tracks.

William was back in the blind on his bucket when he looked at his watch. He was shocked to see that it was just ten o’clock in the morning. Three deer in about three hours?

Now there was a touch of paranoia in his thoughts. He had two untagged deer behind him, and he started to consider walking back to ask for help, but he couldn’t face the ridicule he’d have to take.

Then he thought, wouldn’t the joke be on them?

At that moment Dane’s truck rattled down through the ditch and up into the field. Dutch and Rube were in the cab with Dane. Lefty and another man from the plant were hanging on in the bed of the pickup.

Dane pulled the truck to a stop and folded himself out of the cab with a huge grin framing his ever-present cigar. Dutch and Rube were piling out of the truck with smiles of glee and Lefty vaulted out of the bed, landing with a thump and a giggle.

“Cycle,” he cried, “what’s all this shootin’ about over here? Sounds like a war!”

Rube had a sympathetic smile on his face as he walked up with a bottle of beer in his out-stretched hand. “Got some trouble here, Cycle?”

William looked from one smiling face to another, then shrugged and took a step sideways raising his arm like a game show emcee, “No trouble here as long as a couple of you guys will put your tags on my extra deer.”

Dane nearly swallowed his cigar.

Dutch put his hands on his knees and laughed so hard he got a coughing jag that made William fearful for the old man’s safety.

They were all talking at once, and William could see that they were not only happy for him, but they were feeling like they’d been tricked. “What did you guys think I was doing over here?” He asked

Lefty couldn’t talk, but he raised his left arm and pointed to William’s right. The younger man stepped out of his blind and looked where Lefty was pointing: It was a nice, but old and ratty deer head; mounted on one of the popular trees that lined the trail William had walked in on.

“We thought you were intent on killing Bambi there,” Lefty finally choked out.

William thought for a second, and then flashed them with a brilliant smile. “You guys know you taught me better than that. I was watching into the wind, not over there. I never saw it, and I don’t think I’d have wasted even one shell on it.”

Dutch nodded. “You’re right, William. We might have to retire that nickname, now.”

William winced at the thought. “Really? Why? I never had a nickname before, why would you take it away?”

Lefty sobered up quickly, wiped a tear from his eye and spoke up. “No way! Our friend here is known now and forever as Cycle Davidson. What the hell, he hit for the cycle today, didn’t he?”