I am going to try something completely different in this article. Those of you that read my articles know I have an affinity for movies. In fact, most of my childhood was spent watching, reenacting, or making movies. However, there were times when I got involved in other activities. This will just highlight some of the things I did and, I am sure, will remind you of your adventures. So sit back, relax, grab an Ecto Cooler, a Dunk-a-roo, and enjoy.
The CV-60 USS Saratoga the last ship my stepfather served on
I was a Navy brat. My father and later my stepfather both proudly served this fine country during my childhood. This provided great opportunites for me to see new places every couple of years. I now live in Georgia but I was born in Virginia, went to day care in New Orleans, elementary school in Florida, middle school in Rhode Island and Connecticut, spend winters and summers in Chicago and Pennsylvania, and finally finished school in Georgia. Needless to say, I've seen the East Coast.
I've been around
I loved getting to see new places because I love to travel. Though the prospect of continuously moving got old quickly. The worst part of this was the fact that I lost a lot of friends. I was a social kid and I loved making friends but I hated leaving them behind. Over time it became a little easier as I started to realize it would happen regularly. I developed a resistance to teary goodbyes because I knew I had another "best friend" waiting for me in another state.
My skills at making new friends were phenomenal. I had a charisma that no other child could muster. A sense of humor that would lift even the vilest of hearts. I was like the Sinatra of snot-nosed kids. Everybody loved me and everyone wanted to be around me. Ok, no not really. (As a matter of fact I was a goofy, awkward kid with a rat-tail and giant gap in my front teeth.) I just mastered the art of knocking on doors and asking moms if their child could come out to play.
You all remember this moment don't you? The mother would call their child to the door, he would poke his head around the corner skeptically, his mom would say, "This nice boy wants to know if you can play?" and then the moment of truth. Usually he would run to the door say hello and we would take off on an adventure as best friends before we even introduced ourselves.
Everyday was something different. Sometimes we would throw something made of plastic or shoot each other with something made of foam. Other days we would walk through the woods looking for the perfect tree to build a tree house in, even though we knew we'd never build it. On rainy days we would stay inside and build a fort out of sheets and pillows, play with our action figures or Zoids, or more likely play Nintendo.
During the week I would of course spend most of my day in school waiting for the last bell. The greatest part of the school day was lunchtime. During this time my friends and I would take out our notebooks and draw designs for our tree house or make up new comic book characters.
Sadly it was also the time when we discussed Power Rangers. Sad only because well, it was the Power Rangers. I was the blue ranger in our group. I was smart, inventive, and... ok I was a nerd. The group looked to me when we needed to solve a technical problem or needed a creative way to continue our adventures. I was happy to do this because it meant that I was the guy that got everyone one of trouble (I was also the designated excuse creator). The down side was that if we really did have to fight a towering monster I would be the one checking the oil on the Zords instead of fighting.
I'm cool right? Right?
When lunch would end I knew we were only a few hours from freedom, when that bell would mark sweet serenity. We would race to the buses and decompress during our return voyage. The day's workload was complete and now time for some R&R. That meant an hour of Nintendo before an hour on our bikes. The few hours in between coming home and dinnertime were magical because they were fleeting. Nothing wonderful lasts forever because everyone knows that after dinner it's time for homework. I really did look at school as a short mission into the unknown. Like an astronaut, I would enter the abyss and study my surroundings. Then I would take time to rest (so I wouldn't go insane) before sitting down to finish my paper work so my superiors knew I was retaining some knowledge of my mission. Come on, you remember how tedious those worksheets were. I just needed some way to fight through the monotony.
My fondest memories were the weekends spent in the woods. We would be out for hours climbing trees and playing hide-n-seek. I was amazing at the hiding part. My friends would almost never find me and they hated it. That was usually a game we played within the first couple of weeks of friendship because after that they all got so fed up looking for me they didn't want to play any more. I still loved the game so I invented a variant to get them to play. It was hide-n-walkie. We would all have walkie-talkies and would give hints to our whereabouts or listen for each other's static signals.
Everything awesome lies ahead
As I grew older I made a friend named Corey. We forged a lasting friendship through Pogs. I still remember the day he came up to me in my driveway and asked, "You wanna play Pog?" I was so excited that I ran right to my bedroom and grabbed the three tubes full of cardboard disks waiting on my dresser. We would sit for hours that day on my driveway snapping down our slammers and trading Pogs. That is until the day we found Dead Man's Cliff.
Dead Man's Cliff was really a 25 foot eroded hillside. It was a good bike ride away and deep in unfamiliar woods. It made all of our adventures that much better. One of the reasons it was so great was the fact that you could throw stuff off of it but still walk around and retrieve the projectiles. My little brother would go with us sometimes and Corey and I would tell him the gruesome stories behind the cliff's name. Of course we made all of it up but it scared the crap out of him any way.
Now this was the last year before I moved to Georgia and started high school. Kid-dom was sort of left behind when My stepfather got out of the Navy. I really had a full childhood and could probably write a book based on all the stupid stuff I did. I really do remember so much stuff that might actually entertain you but I will spare you for now and let you reminisce about your own adventures. Thank you for reading this and I do hope it sparked great memories of your days as a Mighty Morphing Teenage Mutant Ninja He-Man G.I. Joe. (Sorry ladies but I have no name for you as I am a boy and stayed clear of your cootie-ridden shows)
Kssst...Where are you? Kssst...Right behind you dillweed.