Saturday, March 3, 2012

Boyhood Chums, and Others

Those of you who have been with STSTT for awhile know that I have revealed things about myself, intentionally or inadvertantly, particularly with regard to my childhood experiences making me Who I Am.

The mind wanders over the plains of nostalgia and climbs the mountains of memory this morning. I am wondering what happened to some of the contemporaries of my childhood.

Tommy. Tommy was two years my junior and he had a brother, Chet, who was my age. Twilight games of Kick the Can or Hide and Seek often included these boys, as well as others. At eight years of age, Tommy was a thumb-sucker. Imagine if you can the merciless teasing and name-calling to which Tommy was subjected because of this habit he seemingly could not, or would not, give up. How did this small facet of his young life affect him in later life? I wonder.

Chet, as I remember him, had no outstanding traits or characteristics. He was a kid, tougher than I, confident in himself, jovial enough, but not particularly noteworthy. I have no idea whatever happened to these boys.

I have mentioned my best friend Wes on occasion. I pretty well had him figured out and I have a clear notion of how his early childhood served to mold his character. We remained close friends until his dying day. But a block north of Wes there lived a "tough kid," a blue-eyed towhead who was in fact a half-year younger than I, but he was a bully. Clifton was physically strong, had a mean streak as wide as the Missouri, and made it a point to ensure that everyone knew he was tough. Reflecting back, I think perhaps I did not like Clifton (not "Cliff." That could get you a bloody nose.) Now, sixty-five years later, I wonder what ever happened to Clifton.

I've not mentioned girls. Well, Daddy cautioned me about girls, just as though he imagined that I would be bold enough to approach any of them. "Girls," he said, "are to be looked at, laughed at, and forgotten." This did not exactly inspire me to confidence in my dealings with the fairer sex.

Then there was Clyde. Have to love the people in the 30s who named their kids Chester, and Clifton, and Clyde. Oh, where are you now, Chappies? And Carl, who once beaned me with a rock. Where are you now?

Image of Derrick and Onion by Ray Billingsly


Shelly said...

I like to think about those who were such tight childhood friends and where they are now. Thanks to Facebook, many of my questions have been answered. I hope Clifton ended up with a good productive life, but too often kids with tempers like that end up in jail.

Vee said...

Looked at, laughed at, and forgotten? Yeah, right!

I've often wondered what happened to Carl and Carlene (CaƱon City). I can't remember if they were twins or not, but back in the day people named twins "matchy" names.

vanilla said...

Shelly, I, too, hope that Clifton had a positive and productive life.

Vee, indeed the Carl I mention had a twin sister named Carlene. I was telling BBBH about them yesterday.

Jim said...

Though I'm a few years your junior I had lost track of several people from childhood. Facebook has reconnected me with almost all of them. One girl passed away; her mother reached out to me on Facebook. Another boy, my best friend in the third grade, remains at large.

vanilla said...

Jim, facebook does make possible some reconnections. Big problem is duplicate names, and women who neglect to include maiden names. ;-)

Sharkbytes said...

For better or worse, I am finding some of those schoolmates via Facebook. I was one of the school outcasts who had almost no friends and was picked on all the time. I find it interesting that they all seem to have forgotten this.

vanilla said...

Shark, memory is a device that carefully selects its own content, I think. I am sure those "bad actors" or "bullies" when children have no recollection of the trauma they inflicted on their peers. (Unless they enjoy their sociopathy.)