In my just rediscovered baby book there are some cute photos. This one reveals my early take on life. There are some details that everyone might skip over, like the Radio Stars magazine, that I have apparently just ripped through, and my serious appraisal of the goings on outside the Del Rey apartments there in Spokane, Washington. Also, there is still a remnant of blondish hair that later turned black, and a trace of blue eyes that later went hazel. My mother had vivid blue eyes, and my father dark brown ones.
This photo looks like I was reading Radio Times; the November 1936 issue with Fred Astaire on the cover. I can remember events that took place directly under this window. A couple of years later, but before I attended school, I came out to play and there were two of my friends sitting on a third friend and hitting him in the face, and he was crying. I asked why they were hitting him, and they said because he was from next door. There was about five feet distance between our buildings.
Another time I was playing with my father’s brother Charles, when he gave me a playful shove and I fell, within ten steps of this window, and cut my right palm on a piece of glass. The scar is still there, and I am running my finger over it right now.
I used to play marbles with my Japanese friends under this window. That was right before WW 2, and my father gave me a lecture about the fact that they were good people, but things were different now. I never noticed any difference.
One of my older friends learned to read before I did, and he read comics to me a few times. I thought reading was so boring I didn’t want to bother learning how to do it.
I was still living here when one of my buddies and I went a couple of blocks up to the Sacred Heart hospital so we could slide down their mattress chute. The nuns poured water down the five-story slide to chase us out, but we got in a few times and had really exciting trips before they succeeded in keeping us out. Unfortunately, the mattresses were contaminated and both of us caught scarlet fever, a deadly disease before antibiotics. We both ended up in the “house of pestilence” for a couple of weeks. I didn’t get terribly sick, but my buddy almost died. Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to slide down hospital mattress chutes.