Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sunshine Memories

I miss the sunshine of my youth. It was brighter back then. Some of my happiest memories are from when I was six or seven, a time period not a specific date. The sun shone a lot back then.

I used to collect soda bottles and ride my bike onto the base (Fairchild AFB) and trade the bottles for money at the airman's bx (Base Exchange. There used to be one for each level, NCO's and Officers had their own sections of the base., not unlike the ghetto, suburbs and McMansion neighborhoods that existed in the outside world). I would then use the money to buy comics (12 cents!) and ride home to read them.

On Saturdays all the kids would meet at the base theater and watch the movie. We didn't really care about the movie, it was all about Hopalong Cassidy and other shorts that continued from week to week. The movie was usually something that was really stupid but it was a great excuse to hang out at the same time every week.

We had so much freedom. Freedom to run around in the fresh air, to explore places that were "down the block", to develop our own personalities and our own opinions. We rode our bikes everywhere.

We moved to Puerto Rico when I was nine. What a great three years that was. Sunshine, fresh fruit hanging from the trees just waiting to be eaten, fresh air, beautiful views and a street full of kids to play hide and go seek with. What more could a kid want? Oh yeah, hanging out at the airman's pool. It was outside and had a lifeguard. We couldn't use the NCO pool, we made too much noise.

When I was eleven I got to go to the NCO pool and I didn't like it because it was indoors. What I do remember is that somehow or other I had my first drink there and no, my parents didn't know. It was a Tom Collins and I still drink them to this day.

The sunshine isn't the same as an adult, I don't know why but I'm leaning towards pollution. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


  1. Excellent story. I wish I'd had your childhood. It sounded much better than mine.

  2. Growing up in Vancouver BC , I had a similar level of freedom. We'd jump on our bikes and ride all over- hang out at Kits beach, the woods at UBC. Kids I grew up with who stayed there didn't allow their kids the same level of freedom though. Things changed. Serial killers tend to bring that. Shit. That's why I raised my kids on 'my' little island. They still have that, to a large degree.
    Merry Christmas to you and your Mom, Deb.
    Rick J

  3. The sunshine isn't the same as an adult, I don't know why but I'm leaning towards pollution. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    "Some people say the pollution is why we have such beautiful sunsets, Mr. Barboni."

    - Get Shorty

    Happy Holidays Deb.