It Doesn’t Make Sense Until You Do The Math!

Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 09:16 AM.

The best thing I had growing up was……nothing! Of course, dummy me thought that I was the most deprived kid on earth. You don’t count family, health, scores of playmates and/or the safety of the surroundings when you are six.

Mostly you wished you had a brand new baseball, shiny white with no broken stitches and no black electrician tape holding it together. Or shucks, a Roy Rodgers’ gun and holster set with real caps would have been nice. I sent in the required labels from the Ovaltine boxes TWICE but I never did receive my Captain Midnight decoder ring. You can see quickly how disadvantaged I was!

A new Western Flyer would have made me the richest kid north of Cherry Street but Santa apparently couldn’t get it down the chimney.

We had to go out in the back yard and make up things to do. I won the 1956 Olympics 100 yard dash the summer I turned nine. I also set the world record in the discus throw. I waded ashore at Guadalcanal and was the first guy off the boat at Omaha Beach. I hit fifty homeruns in the World Series and pulled Jane out of the quicksand a hundred times while Tarzan was off chasing ivory hunters.

We learned to walk on our hands, juggle rocks and keep our balance while running full speed down a single railroad track because we didn’t have nothing else to do. We spent every day in the summer outside because we had no air conditioner. We walked, or ran, to town because Dad wasn’t big on “joy riding”. We cut our own firewood, worked like crazy in that little garden out back Mom was so proud of and wrestled each other for entertainment. Our good health was more of a byproduct of living than any doctoring or total gym machines. 

And we really didn’t complain much. Oh, we might kick about being bored or it would be nice to have a giant Erector Set but then Leon would throw a rope around my neck or Dave would attack me from behind….. We didn’t dwell on what we didn’t have, we were too busy defending life and limb!

In some twisted, off handed sort of way, having very little made you truly appreciate everything that did come your way. I still remember that first pair of real baseball cleats. You can’t believe how good that new leather smelled…… And I full well realized that someone in our house had sacrificed for me to have them! Listen, we would celebrate if Mom brought home a Hostess Twinkie or Baby Ruth for us.

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