brother, Max, grown up at age of 6 that fall, was in the second grade.
He was my pal, and without him I'd have been alone and lonely at the
old cabin where we lived within a short trot from the school. So the
decision: I was to go to school.
I did – more or less, for I played out on the ditch bank with the ants
until they would sting me or along the path to Sulphur Creek with the
grasshoppers and the toads. And occasionally I'd wander across the creek
into Dicey Chestnut's Orchard and pick a tree-ripened pear or two. I'd
eat until the juice ran down my chin and attracted the bees that were
on the wing for sweets. Dicey knew about it, and didn't mind. She was
a generous woman who loved children besides the four of her own.
first year of school was in 1925. Jack Dempsey, the world's heavyweight
champion, was in his heyday. All the boys in the school from the eighth
grade on down to me, the mascot, were wildly swinging fists in preparation
to become champion pugilists. We'd take a poke at anything and anyone
just for practice.