I was drafted into the Marines as a child. In fact, me and my two brothers were all in the Marines at the same time; Dad’s Marine Corp! We served at Camp Goodman from 1963 to 1968, at which time we were released to the Prytania Alley Kid’dom. Continue reading →
I wrote most of this story more than two years ago but didn’t finish until now. I held off I guess because I felt I was self defeating. But hey, every single aspect, minute or major, of everything that’s occurred in our lives, goes into the making of who we are as adults. I promised to make an honest attempt to document all my moments of growing up, so here I go.
The night I began writing this true tale is in the middle of December, just a couple of days before the coming of the shortest day of the year. We are so busy this month as we prepare for a final relocation to Phoenix. There is so much to do when moving and especially when downsizing. The biggest job of course is the rummaging through 2-3 decades of ‘stuff’ – do we keep the three bins of the kids’ kindergarten artwork? What gets sold on EBay? What gets donated to Goodwill? Should I send my name and address to this guy in Jackson, Florida so he can send me a check for my wife’s curio, the one he just loves from my Craigslist ad? And what about Blackey, the outdoor cat who adopted us 12 years ago?
Very many times as I am writing these little true life stories, I am hit sideways with a new memory. It sometimes makes me believe that all of our memories are neatly tucked away inside the many whorls of our brain. Wouldn’t it be a great thing to be able to tap into them or download them onto a flash drive so that they could be replayed on your video screen? This is a short story, but it’s a very cute one, a memory I’m glad that popped out of one of those brain whorls.
In this story (link) I wrote a funny tale of how for a brief moment I thought I might be blood related to my wife. It’s a funny joke sometimes shared amongst us ‘Hamiltuckians’ that we’re all related to each other and it’s appropriate that at the time of this release, I am spending time with Kim’s family, celebrating her mom’s birthday. Perhaps Kim and I are not blood related, but there definitely are a lot of strings connecting our paths.
When I began this little ‘project’, this life story, this telling of tales, I thought to myself – this cannot last long, how many stories could I possibly tell, 10, 25, 50? And here I am now at story 199! I’m finally beginning to get to a point to where I might be able to soon see the end of the tunnel. When I run out of memories, I’ll stop. For now though, there’s still more to share so stop your applause. You’re being rude.
Recently I shared a story of nighttime hi-jinx where a few of us Prytania boys broke a commandment. Now that’s it’s been more than 40 years ago, memories like that one can be fun to look back on and reminisce with the cohorts equally responsible. It’s no fun being stolen from though and I have been on the receiving end of that commandment a few times. This week I thought I’d share one of those stories.
What do I want for Christmas? How ’bout your hand out of my crotch?
I’ve written a couple of Christmas related stories I think. Let me go look. Yes, here is one where my Dad felt the urge to be benevolent so he shared the truth about there not being a Santa as he was walking out the door (link), (probably headed out to the local tavern). Oh, and just to prove that the teasing gene does indeed get passed down through the generations, you’ll read about a couple of nice tricks I played on our youngest boy in this same story.
I live in California now, but I grew up on Prytania, in Hamilton, Ohio. When you grow up in a place like Hamilton, you grow up with cicadas. What? You don’t know what a cicada is? Oh, well then, allow me to educate you. A cicada is an insect, a big stubby-looking flying insect with big orange eyes, (many are red), and a mouth that doesn’t bite. It makes a huge constant racket over 100 decibels in its quest to attract mates and oh, it lives underground for 17 years. Some of them live underground for 13 years but they all live on or near tree roots until it’s time to come up from the ground, only to mate. When they do come up from their underground roots, they arrive in ‘broods’ of thousands, sometimes millions. They don’t bite or eat, they only suck tree sap. If they land on you, just flick it off – it’s stupid, it just thinks you’re a tree.
The sixties were a great time to be a kid and we owe it all to President Kennedy. My history is a little rusty, but I’m fairly sure he ordered the NASA scientists to “make toys for the astronauts to play with on the moon”. Oh yeah, I think he also told the astronauts to get their butts up to the moon to test out the new toys. The historians aren’t kidding when they write about Kennedy being so young. NASA scientists and inventors all over the country were charged up, their creativity genes on overdrive. We kids benefited – every kid wanted to be an astronaut or wanted to work for Wham-O so they could invent and test out the really cool new toys like Frisbee, Slinky or Superballs.