If I were to put a year and location to my memory, I would say 1955 in Benicia, California. I had just turned six in September the year before. My sister, Sharon was about to turn a year old. We lived-in a two-bedroom house on Hillcrest Street. There was a white picket fence around a huge front yard. I think now it is called a postage stamp yard. Directly across the street from me was where Ricky Olsen lived. The neighborhood boys and I played football in his yard almost every week. The fence on each end of the yard was the goal line and the walkway going up the middle was the fifty yard line.
We were all in the same grade, but I must have been stronger than they were. I remember dragging a few to the goal line to make a touchdown. I doubt any of them would even admit to it now, considering our age. I remember Harry Morgan, Mark Hays, and Randy Little. We were the main ones on our street.
Randy was a boy with a temper. He had a “go cart” we would ride going down a hill next to Ricky’s house. If the cart didn’t stop, and most of the time it didn’t, we would end up in the bushes at the bottom of the hill. Randy would get mad and punch me. I would cry, and then help him push that cart back up that big hill. He was the first boy to ever kiss me also (sort of). I might have been eight years old. We were in his back yard playing, and his mother had a rug hanging on the clothes line.
I got in between the two sides of the run and Randy gathered the rug and me in his arms and kissed me. I guess, I should say he kissed the rug.
Mark Hays lived on the corner across from my house. I caused him to get his tail busted one day; actually he caused it himself. We were out playing, and he told me it was his birthday. I knew because it was his birthday he was supposed to get a gift. I ran home to mama, and told her it was Mark’s birthday. We had to go to town to get him a present. Mama dropped what she was doing and headed to town. I picked him out a bow and arrow set, and I was so proud of it.
As soon as we got home, I went to his house and knocked on the front door. His Mom answered the door. I handed the bow and arrow set to his mom telling her to please give them to Mark. She asked me why, and I told her about him telling me it was his birthday. She told me it was not his birthday, and I should keep the bow and arrow. I headed back to the house with my new bow and arrow. He told me the next day he was sorry about lying to me, and his mother had given him a spanking. I forgave him of course.
It is funny what memories stick with you through your life. Those are million dollar memories to me that I will cherish until the day I leave this world. If any of those boys (now men) happen to read this, you can deny, or just say you don’t remember a thing, but I sure do.