And while I’m at it, what about those war years? Let’s see, I was eight when it began this December day, and twelve when it ended. Those are years in a boy’s life not easy to remember. I remember my brother Dick going into the navy in 1942 but very little else. No school memories, no sports memories, no memories of what our little town of Mobridge was like back then. It must have been post-Dust-Bowl-days dusty with all streets just gravel avenues except for Main and the highway through town. A few images come to mind: digging an underground room in the vacant lot just north of Coleman’s house on Fourth Avenue West, clambering around in the wooden supports of the highway billboard near that same sunken room, digging snow caverns in our back yard after one of the many snow storms, building rubber guns for playing war in the city park, playing endless summer afternoon and evening games—Run Sheep Run, Kick the Can, Captain May I, Red Light Green Light, hop scotch, migs. I must have gotten my dog Rusty in 1941, a red-coated cocker spaniel puppy that howled and howled when my parents insisted he be put in the basement for the night, a move that didn’t last very many nights. I remember lying on my stomach in our living room, listening to after-school programs on the radio—The Shadow (“Who know what evil lurks in the hearts of man”); Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy; the Green Hornet; Inner Sanctum (that awful creaking door that opened every show); The Lone Ranger (“Hi ho, Silver, away!”); Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. In the evenings listening to and laughing over Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Fred Allen, Fibber McGee and Molly, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. I think I must have driven my parents crazy as I lay on the floor, hoisting dining room chairs overhead as I laughed at the radio comics. I and my classmates must have been equally enchanted by the 1939 The Wizard of Oz, probably accounting for my getting hooked on the Oz books about this time, devouring them in the cheap war-time editions I got for birthdays and Christmases. And other movies of the day I remember: Gunga Din, Lassie Come Home and National Velvet (both causing me to fall madly in love with Elizabeth Taylor), all the Saturday afternoons at the Mascot Theatre riding along with Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, reveling in the terror caused by The Black Panther, King Kong, The Mummy and Return of the Mummy. howling at the antics of Abbot and Costello and the Three Stooges. Ah, the good old days. And then the war ended and I grew up . . . sort of.
My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.
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