This month's Flashback is going WAY back. I mean way back to 1964. In 1964 I was only 4 years old, you do the math...Yes that's it 42 years ago. You get an A.
My family at the time consisted of myself, my mother and my father. My father during those years was not one that was ready to deal with responsibilities of being a father or a husband and was in and out of work. So for some reason, he decided to move to Texas. His brother was stationed there in Amarillo, Texas to be exact so we headed West.
Now you would think that only being 4 years old my recollection of our trip and time in Texas would be to say the least, very vague. Actually the opposite is true. I remember parts of it vividly.
1. The heat: It was always hot there. I can not remember any time there that I was not hot. We stayed with my uncle and his family (Three girls) and also my aunt and grandfather went with us. All of the girls were older than me but one who is my cousin Barb. She was barely a year old at the time. Now imagine a boy of 4 living in a home with 3 older girls who loved to antagonize little boys. To stay cool we would take showers. Myself and my aunt who was 13 at the time, and Barb's two older sisters who were 9 and 7. We would don our swimming attire and jump into the shower. Why we didn't have a wading pool like most people is beyond me.
2. The Spiders: Oh my God, they were HUGE. And of course being afraid of them my cousins and aunt would terrorize me with them. They even had me believing that the tumbleweeds (which were of mass quantities there)were huge giant boy eating spiders. This would cause me to go running and screaming from them to the nearest adult for protection.
3. Water Towers: Amarillo must have had an abundance of water (the daily showers) as there were many water towers around where we lived. But to me I thought (thanks to my cousins and aunt again) they were actually alien spaceships that kidnapped little boys for testing. So of course I rarely wanted to go outside.
4. The Red Dirt. This I remember more vividly than anything else. The color of the dirt was so different from what I was used to in Ohio. It was literally red. I know why now of course, but then I was told that Texas was closer to hell, and that when my cousins and Aunt were making mud pies and digging into the dirt they were actually digging to the devil so that he would come and take me to hell with him. Again I would go off screaming for my mother.
After that experience it is a wonder that I came out somewhat normal.
You wonder why my cousins and my aunt loved terrorizing me so?
Jealousy, pure jealousy!!