One Time”

This blog is a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries from a mem­oire of my child­hood called “One Time.” I grew up in a large nomadic fam­i­ly. We expe­ri­enced a lot of inter­est­ing, fun­ny and unfor­tu­nate things. This is how I saw it all in a his­tor­i­cal and cul­tur­al con­text. This is a work in progress.

Karen’s Stories

My sis­ter Karen dis­liked the Span­ish teacher, Mr. Kissler, because he was a smart ass — Hijo de puta (son of a bitch) who had a habit of say­ing rude things in Span­ish to you if you hap­pen to be the last kid arriv­ing for class, or would mock you if you…

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School Time

For the umpteenth time we were in anoth­er school. You nev­er got used to being the new kid in town. It wasn’t easy hav­ing to fit in. Every­one else had best friends already, long­time friends or a cir­cle of friends. It wasn’t easy and down­right uncom­fort­able at…

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The mid six­ties were pret­ty bitchin. Besides skate­boards and Schwinn Sting-Rays, mus­cle cars like the Mus­tang and the GTO rum­bled through the streets. For the matur­ing baby boomers, Miniskirts, panty­hose, turtle­necks, big curlers and Diet-Pep­si were in…

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Our next-door neigh­bor, Mike Harp­er, was kind of a surfer dude in atti­tude… blond, row­dy and always look­ing for a good wave. He didn’t make it to the beach that often, but could skate­board down a hill like no one in the neigh­bor­hood. He also had a cool blue…

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California Here We Come

We weren’t out of Mary­land when it began. “Are we there yet?” Suzie called plain­tive­ly from the back seat. That would be repeat­ed an aggra­vat­ing num­ber of times by the poor bored souls endur­ing the tor­tur­ous ordeal of the back seat. If you were in the front…

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We moved out of that big blue house on Mechan­ics Val­ley Road to a drab cramped officer’s quar­ters at the Bain­bridge Naval Train­ing Sta­tion. I don’t think we lived there very long because I real­ly have to rack my brains to think of any­thing half mem­o­rable…

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Other Stuff

Down in our base­ment we’d mim­ic the Bea­t­les just like they were on Sul­li­van. I made repli­ca gui­tars out of cutout card­board accu­rate in every detail com­plete with knobs, frets and strings, col­or­ing them in with pas­tels from my Jon Gnagy art set. I used…

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Deja Vu

It’s weird how things seem to reoc­cur in fam­i­lies a gen­er­a­tion lat­er. We repeat the same mis­takes of our par­ents or we inher­it habits, ticks and phys­i­cal traits not appar­ent until we get old­er. I didn’t think of it until I wrote about the mem­o­ry but my…

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My best friend, Wane Dean, was the first kid I knew who had a copy of “Meet the Bea­t­les.” He called me right away after his moth­er brought it home for him. I ran as fast as I could along the icy road to his house because that was a big deal. “I Want to Hold your…

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