Trouble with a Capital T

Being precocious is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing if you’re the kid who learns how to be the center of attention. It’s a curse for everyone else who has to deal with THAT kid. Well, I was always THAT kid. If there was trouble to be had or mischief to be made, […]

The Rocks Cried Out

As a kid, my family went to church twice every Sunday, and once in the middle of the week. I didn’t think much about it, because that was what I was used to, but I don’t recall ever watching The Wonderful World of Disney on a Sunday evening, because we were always in church. So, […]

Shootout at the OK Chorale

I grew up in a musical family. Mom and my sisters all played the piano. My brother played the guitar. The one thing that we all did, especially every Sunday at church, was sing. Most times it was in the congregation, but once every month or so, the four kids would be trotted out to […]

Soda Spritzer

I’ve always loved going to the movies. The dark theater was a break from the everyday, with the sights of coming attractions, the smell of popcorn and the spectacle that was about to unfold on the big screen. As a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money, so ti was a big deal to […]

Owl Be Back

Living in the city limits of Kokomo, Indiana, we didn’t run into a lot of wildlife. Sure, there was the occasional stray cat, roaming pack of dogs, and overly inquisitive squirrels, but most of the time, if we wanted to see anything truly wild, we’d have to take a trip to the Indianapolis Zoo. One […]

Up Against the Wall

I’ve never considered myself an athlete, and most would agree. As a kid, I did, however, possess an unique set of skills, that, while they never won any awards, occasionally come in handy. I could balance on a beam without too much wobbling. In baseball, I could steal bases with impunity. Most unique, however, was […]

Impractical Jokers

There is an art to a practical joke. You have to find the perfect combination of target, lure and payoff. If you choose the wrong target, you can get in trouble or worse. If you don’t choose the right lure for the target, they don’t fall for the trick. If you choose a payoff that […]

Brotherly Shove

Growing up with siblings is probably a challenge for most kids, and boys even more so. My brother Jim and I were friends and enemies, collaborators and competitors. Being the younger of the two brothers, however, I was as much the target of hijinks rather than the instigator.  When I was 10 years old, we […]

Fruit Fight!

In Ancient Rome, throwing an apple at someone was considered a sign of affection, or even a potential marriage proposal. When I was a kid, throwing a piece of fruit was a way to work on your throwing arm. The further and harder you could throw, the more you rose up in the neighborhood kid […]

Neighborhood Bully

Growing up is fraught with hazards. Whether it was a stray dog roaming the neighborhood or being picked last for the team, each day could be filled with seemingly life-or-death challenges. My childhood nemesis was Brian, who lived on the corner near our house. He was friends with my older brother Jim, so he hung […]