I had an amazingly happy childhood. I never felt poor, or unloved or lonely, but I do remember feeling that I missed my dad. The sad thing now is that I don’t have many vivid memories of him being a part of my life, and actually I only have a few memories that include him:
- He would drive Evie and me up to and around Signal Hill
- He used to take us grocery shopping to McCoy’s market every Friday but I don’t remember if he actually shopped with us or waited in the car.
- Once when we returned from shopping, I dropped the bag with the eggs in it and he clobbered me on the head. It was more of a quick slap than anything done with anger or intent to hurt.
- He had a farmer’s tan, just like I do now.
- He taught me how he makes Fried Eggs and Bacon. I don’t remember how he did it, but I remember sitting and watching him as he tried to flip the eggs without breaking the yolks. This was before coated pans and there was a lot of bacon grease in the pan that didn’t seem to help much.
I wish there were more.
- Charlie Thomas – was a strong disciplinarian and I gave him lots of respect and always listened to him. He was funny and easy going, but made sure that we all knew the boundaries.
- Uncle Bob – showed me the world – or at least his world. He took Evie and me all over his favorite desert haunts and even though we wondered why he liked the desert so much, it was always so much fun to go on a trip with Uncle Bob.
- Brother Bob – I never lived under the same roof, and as he was 18 years older, he really wasn’t around much, due to college and the Army, but I have distinct memories of going to the beach, fishing, and clamming when he would come to visit. When I was 12, I was sent to visit him and my sister Martha. While with Bob and Elaine, we went to Maine (which I will talk about at length later).
- Cousin David – David was a fireman that was always doing the most interesting things! Surfing, Fishing, Scuba Diving and Painting were what I remember about David.
- Brother-in-Law Gail – Gail bought me my first baseball glove and was the most encouraging figure that I have ever had. I remember hearing that as a young boy he had some kind of physical problem that was so severe that doctors said that he may never walk. However, his determination and hard work made him into one of the best college and professional basketball players of all time.