November 7, 2017 – Prompt – The Best or Worst Story From Your Childhood

A Child’s Story of Growth

1953. Fifteen years old.
That was the year we moved from Toronto to Miami.
From the moment my mother and I departed the bus, I was amazed, stunned, fascinated.
America.
The panoramas and the people were festive.
New experiences of joyous encounters around every corner.
Here are a few that I still recall (from that time some 65 years ago).
Pizza
No winter.
No drab streetcars.
Endless sunshine.
Girls with budding breasts and scant clothing.
Shiny cars, all new, washed and spotless.
Palm trees.
Glass buildings.
Astonishing varieties of foods.
Friendly teachers, and surprisingly helpful.
And many more wonders.
Only one of them distressing–how little they all knew about Canada.
My schoolmates were inquisitive, but their questions betrayed their ignorance.
It was as if they thought Canada was backward, uncultivated, possibly even barren.
They were helpful, thoughtful and comradely.
But they were also so ill-informed about other societies; nearby ones let alone distant ones.
How extraordinary.
Now that I am one, American, that is; I understand it better.
And having accumulated a few degrees here, I now know that the problem is a combination of education salted with a few sprinkles of arrogance.
And now that I’m one of them, American, that is, I’m keenly aware that I must eliminate that touch of arrogance from my mental constitution.
Why? You ask.
Because Arrogance is not a synonym for Greatness.

By Lloyd Rain 11/1/17

*****

She was the new girl on the block. She stood with her friends in her home’s front yard.

All of us boys were there: Rick on his black, BMX, Joe on his blue Huffy and me on my bright yellow, banana-seated bike.

We were, as twelve-year-olds often are, showing off trying our best to get her exclusive attention.

I got off my bike to climb the tree, as Joe had already done, followed by her little brother. I don’t remember what she said that made me stop climbing, but stop I did right under the tree.

When it started to rain, I am confused by the lack of clouds and the panic-stricken look on her face. She rushed me into her house and cleaned me up.

I should have thanked her little brother for my first kiss.

D.T. (Gray) Richoy

*****

My mother was a divorced single parent, and as a child, we moved around a lot. We finally settled in El Cajon, California. It was a farm community where she found work at the local diner. We believed that we had found our forever home. I loved it there; the people were so welcoming and kind.

Unexpectedly, in October 1955, my mother died, and I found myself homeless and penniless. It was the worst experience of my life.

I was very blessed to have five families offer me a home. One lady was the bookkeeper at the local High School. She and her husband offered me a home. I went to live with Mom and Pop Sherman, and they became my new family.

A couple of months later, Coach Carmichael called me in her office. She told me that someone had helped her out when she needed it. Now she wanted to return the favor by helping me. She offered to pay my tuition and books for four years so that I could attend San Diego State College.

My greatest loss became the greatest gift of my life. I was given a future.

Jean Dunstan

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