When I Was Young

IDK... 2nd or 3rd Grade in Seabrook, TX
IDK… 2nd or 3rd Grade in Seabrook, TX

Oh… My… Did I ever look so young? This must be the Second or Third grade I think…

This was my “Timmy and Lassie” look. I think…

Wait…. I’m thinking to much. I wonder how much I actually know!

I was thinking (there I go again) the other day I knew all of my teachers by name but I cannot recall who would have been my second grade teacher, but Mrs Neidehoffer was my third grade teacher – we still took afternoon naps and had a towel to sleep on. I think. This would have been 50 years ago. A half a century!

I think I need my parents and my siblings to fill in all the possible teachers and I know I can finalize a list…

It was at this elementary school, next to the church we went to (Pastors Calk and Ward) in Seabrook, TX, that I met a lot of the kids of astronauts and NASA engineers. We played Little League together, did Cub Scouts, camped in the park where we lived, did sleep overs, played a lot with Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs, Tarzan, Army and had all other kinds of growing up fun. A lot of this enjoyable time comes from having siblings. Being the oldest I can only say they were all younger than me… Vaughn, Ken and Teresa. My brother, Vaughn, and I celebrate our birthdays only 36 days apart, so one year mom pulled together a combined party. I know there were a thousand kids in attendance…(Not!) We were so popular!

Just Like Mine...
Just Like Mine…

The one gift I truly remember, and I have shared this with the church lately, was a set of Red Dominoes. I lost all but two of them in Alaska in the mid-1980’s through a tragic misstep on my part. They were on “top” of the car, and not “in” the car, as we left a camping site near Denali…

It was during these early 1960’ss that we learned to swim, and we swam like fish. Never afraid of the water, we were quick to jump into the water whenever and wherever we were. Of course, being quick to jump also meant we were able to leap tall buildings with a single bound when we had our special Converse running shoes. Or was that Superman? I can never remember. Comic books were not for me. I wanted books with few pictures, so I focused on Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and the like.

This was the place where we started to learn to drive. Shifting was always a must while dad worked the pedals.

Though my kids remember great library experiences, I am not even sure we had a public library close to us in my younger life until we moved to Channelview. At the same library that my kids enjoyed checking out 11 books a week from, I remember going to as a pre-teen and checking out historical biographies meant for young readers. I read everything they had.

All TV was black and white in my young life. Though we seldom watched any of it I wonder how much a black and white world spoke to us back then. I remember listening to the radio in the car with my dad who enjoyed Country music – and other than Gospel I do not remember any other style of music. Dad would sing and yodel with the radio. I remember thinking with amazement of all the singers that must have been waiting in the audience to get up to the microphone and sing. I know I understood about 33 1/3, 45’s and 78’s, but never thought that it had anything to do with the radio.

Crystal Radio Kit
Crystal Radio Kit

Then, somewhere around the third grade, and I do not remember why it came my way, but a Crystal Radio kit showed up in my world. This was a kit to make your own simple radio. It had a case but you easily have had all the parts laid out on board. I have this memory of dad helping me wrap the copper wire and attaching any and all of the pieces and parts. We strung the antenna wire out the window and attached the ear piece – and as we “tuned” the radio “up and down the dial” you could faintly hear several different radio stations.

It was a lot of work for little enjoyment, although I suspect this is the truth about many things in life. We work hard at “getting something” and find it does not really satisfy.

Much later in life I got into Radio Controlled (R/C) Airplanes. I read an article about the re-enactment of a naval war battle in Gig Harbor, Washington, where they used R/C boats and airplanes. It sounded like so much fun. So, I went to a local R/C shop in Anchorage and bought my first building kit. I ordered all the electronics through mail order. My success at building was great, but flying took more lessons than I had time to rebuild crashed airplanes!

Again, a lot of work for little enjoyment.

This teaches me something.  And I share with you.

Sometimes the most enjoyable thing about being involved in something happens to be the preparation and construction. It’s like preparing for a hunting or fishing trip – the prep time is so much fun, being in the field is so much fun, and it matters little the final success.

As I have written in times past, it’s not about the Destination, as much as the Journey. Perhaps you would enjoy reading that post by clicking here


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