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Chapter 11– Summer of ’70

  • Listed: June 9, 2015 6:50 pm
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The Summer of 1970. Wow. What a great summer! It will always go down as one of the best. No, no, it was the best; it was just one of those summers that I never forgot. I turned eleven. Between fourth and fifth grade. The first girl I fell in love with, as much as an eleven year old can be in love: Debbie LaBonte. She blew me away. We had a song, or at least I had song for us. I pretty sure she knew nothing of it. I can actually guarantee it. “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison, I still think of her every time I hear that song. I even bought an ID bracelet for $6, which was the way it was done back then: find a girl, fall in love, give her your ID bracelet and live happily ever after. My dad told me I was too young to be going steady and forbid me to give her my ID. Love is a powerful thing, even as an eleven year old. You couldn tell me not to pursue the woman I going to marry. So I had my song, my ID and the nerve to go get her. Off I go. It may have been the most nervous I ever been ?I was going to ask her to be my girlfriend. This was still back in the day when you called a girl and she answered, you hung up in sheer terror. I not sure why I thought I could talk to her in person when I couldn do it on the phone. I was scared to death, my heart was racing, my stomach was doing flip flops, I was sweating and in a panic. I practiced my lines, my moves, my thoughts, my actions. I prepared, I shaking, but I prepared. I about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime, an adventure in love. Let go. I got shot down out of the sky and was devastated. So I did the only thing I could do in that situation. I picked up the pieces of my shattered heart and went home. My heart was broken the way only an eleven year old heart can be broken. Well, that was a waste of $6. My first experience with heartbreak, little did I know, was just the start. There was plenty more where that came from. Just keep stepping up to the plate, boy, and the girls will continue to bombard you with bean balls. And we do, we just keep stepping up to the plate, because we LOVE you, don you understand? I LOVE you; you have to go steady with me. Apparently she didn. A note: In seventh grade she had a crush on me, but it was too late. I moved on. My trek as a lone wolf had started. So Debbie LaBonte wouldn go steady with me. I guess this means wee not getting married. I guess Il just hang with my friends this summer, which prophetically enough, is pretty much the way it goes for your entire life. Find a girl, hang with her, break up, go back to your friends, find a girl, hang with her, break up, go back to the friends. I still have my whole summer. I going to have fun with or without my sweet Debbie. The 4th of July is coming, the greatest of all holidays for a kid. It the middle of the summer, no school in sight, it hot so you don have to wear shirts or shoes, and you get to play with explosives. It doesn get much better than that for a young buck. We used to stock up on some fireworks. We had mostly Black Cat firecrackers, because nothing was cooler than Black Cat firecrackers. We would also get a hold of M-80 and bottle rockets. We didn have much use for ones that go in the air and spew colors, we wanted something that exploded. We also had these things called “buzz bombs” which were pretty cool. They would fly up spewing sparks and such. We landed many of those things on various neighborhood roofs. That a heart stopper when a buzz bomb lands on a dry, hot roof and it still spinning and spewing. “Holy crap, grab the bag and run!” We did a lot of running on the 4th. It may have been the most runningest of all the Holidays. Mainly on the 4th we wanted to blow things up, and we did. During the year, my brothers and I would build model cars and airplanes and blow them up on the 4th of July. One of our delights was tying some fishing line to an airplane model, soak it in gas, light it on fire and then spin it around a leg on the swing set. The swing set turned out to be a launching point for many things that were on fire or about to explode. We had some cinder blocks next to the garage and we would sometimes put the airplane model on the block, fill it with cotton balls that were soaked with gasoline and throw bottle rockets and firecrackers at it until it was destroyed. Sometimes it would blow up and spray gas everywhere – you quickly found out it best not to stand too close to the cinder block. Just ask Ricky Nelson, not the Ricky Nelson, the one from our neighborhood, it took almost six months for his eyebrows and hair to grow back. He smelled like burnt hair for a week. Ricky had a little brother who was mentally retarded. I don mean he was an idiot, he was actually retarded. Now they call it “mentally challenged,” but back then it was OK to say “retarded.” We always had to watch what ヴィトン バッグ we were doing around Ronny because he would mimic everything we did, and sometimes it was dangerous. My dad used to have these big rubber weig

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