When I was growin' up in the '50s, my best friend was Colby. Now, we didn't go around tellin' everybody we were best friends, like girls do. We didn't even tell each other. Heck, we didn't need to. The things we did together demonstrated our relationship better than any words could describe it. We had more fun than any two boys ought to. If our parents knew half of what we did, they'd agree.
I should warn you, if you wanna' read our adventures, they can make you laugh, gag, hold your nose, cry a little, call us crazy, or maybe liars. Did you know people do those things to geezers ... all six of 'em?
Our stories got told so many times they sorta' grew into a book, Colby and Me: Growing Up in the '50s and '60s. Its premise is that we grew up in the best place, best country, and best time ever to be kids. I'll bet you want some evidence though.
As Perry Mason says, "exhibit number one" – in 1956 a kid could walk into a drug store, hand the druggist fifty cents, walk out with a can of saltpetre, mix it with a little sugar and blow up … uh … moving on to exhibit two.
You can't beat the good ol' USA. Everybody wants in. Nobody wants out. By the time Colby and I were born, we had antibiotics. Without them, I wouldn't have survived to have any friendships. About the time we became aware of polio, we had the Salk vaccine. From the time we were aware of wars, we had only the Cold War to worry about, but we knew our beloved Ike would protect us.
Colby and I lived in Southern Oregon, a virtual paradise for young boys. Besides the Pacific Ocean, the many rivers and hundreds of lakes for swimming and fishing, we had a bazillion acres of uninhabited forest land to wander as far as our legs could carry us in a day. To top it all off, we had a great spring and fall with a long, hot summer sandwiched in between to give us plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors.
We were raised before those doggone, no-fault divorce laws that brought the marriage meltdown. Only one kid in my whole school came from a divorced family. And none of us worried about bein' snatched by some evil maniac while outside, in town, or anywhere for that matter. There were no illegal drugs. That came later when hippies from San Francisco invaded us.
We had no real worries as kids except report cards or, as we grew older, zits. It was a time to just enjoy bein' a kid without anyone trying to speed up our growing-up process. To top it all off, I had a best friend, Colby, who when combined with all those other bests, gave me the best childhood of any kid that ever lived. At least I think so.
About H L Wegley
H. L. Wegley served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. He worked as a Research Scientist in Atmospheric Physics at Pacific Northwest Laboratories, where he published scientific articles, reports and books. In his second career, he worked as a Systems Programmer at Boeing before retiring in the Seattle area where he is involved in a small-group ministry. In 2010 he began his third career, writing fiction. His romantic thriller, Hide and Seek, is coming soon from Harbourlight Books, Pelican Book Group.