The Outline of my Life

1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974

1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991

1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

 

1966

7 years old.

First - second grade.

We move back in with my Dad on McDonald, on South Grand.

My dad reads the Hobbit to me. He bought a color Polaroid camera around this time. My sister JoAnn developed the cute little habit of elbowing my brother and I in the ribs to show her displeasure.

I finish first grade at Rose Fanning school, which is under the sadistic thumb of Miss Schlutoe, the principal, who beats kids with a big paddle in the echoing hallways.

I start second grade at Fanning and meet Richard Hudson. He's a smart kid with freckles and willing to pretend he's a superhero playing with me in the schoolyard at Fanning. He has many sisters, and we spent one afternoon squatting in the gangway peering into the basement gloom trying to see his older sister taking a shower. I never really got a good look at her myself.

I start reading Dr. Doolittle books. Our local Library, Carpenter Branch on South Grand, has a great selection of British children's books and a charismatic and lovable Librarian, Mrs. Duncan, who is English. I take books with me everywhere, counting chapters to see how far I have to go. Janie is disgusted with me because I never go anywhere without a book.

Meet Gary Picarillo, who lives a block over in a big house on Utah.

There is a gym in the basement with hanging rings and weights, and a big collage of all the cool superhero drawings of Gary's older brothers. Gary and his brothers sleep in a maze of rooms on the second floor. I'm enchanted by the ivy-covered garage behind the house that leads to the alley.

 

Mike Schnieder, Janie Jenkerson,
me and Larry Jenkerson

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