Starting Out

DECADE ONE: 1943-1953

“At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms…”


Down to Me

All my illustrious ancestry
boils down to my birth on October 9, 1943,
in Little Washington, NC,
until my brother comes and Daddy brings us home.


Don and Barry and me (and Bill)
Margaret and Ella Watts Harry,
and the Big Boys (Phil, Eddie and Zeb,
then Tittle, Emo, Frank, and Tommy),
and Susie Byrd, the baby-sitter (Leo the Lightning Bug),
just to name a few…

Home LifeRandom recollections:
Daddy, Mama, me and Bill
(and Cora, the maid, who minds us)
until April comes along, then Mary, when I’m almost nine.

Grade School

Straight A’s in everything but Deportment
all through grammar school,
too smart for my own good and
too rich, too fat, too loud, too everything;
ergo punished, bullied, and teased.

Et CeteraAside from school and Brookwood,
I frequent the Church, the Country Club,
and (reluctantly) Aunt Helen’s Dancing School.
When I’m eight I go away to Camp Sequoia for eight weeks and join Cub Scouts.
By fourth grade I’m acting in plays. Does that make me a sissy?

Dark CloudsAs Decade One draws to a close,
home life starts getting ugly.

Click to Continue


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