Waxing Nostalgic…

Writing about Trayvon Martin’s murder has been very difficult.  I am almost finished and will post it soon, but I have to step away every now and then to take a deep breath and clear my head, especially since it seems that there is a new report of yet another unarmed, innocent, non-white person being gunned down in cold blood.  It’s like there’s something in the air, or the water, and people are being infected with an ultra-sick pathology that I find shocking…

At any rate, I started thinking back to my childhood and upbringing.  A lot of times, I can only think of the bad things that occurred, because there were so many…numerous, countless things.  Things I’d shoved to the rear corners of my mind and secured under lock and key.  I was a fearful child at times – worrying about who might be around whatever corner, waiting to ambush me and do who-knows-what.  I still found some ounce of internal strength and intestinal fortitude buried deep inside me, and finally began to outgrow the fear and timidity when I turned 12.  Learning to fight and defend myself, and not feel powerless any longer, helped me survive and get away – anger, hate, and rage replaced fear and trepidation.  Meeting my kin has completed me in so many ways – I can’t begin to describe it yet.  Digressing, for the umpteenth time…

I spent my formative years in Alaska – my parents moved there when I was 3 and bounced around a bit until finally settling in Wrangell, a small island-based town in the Southeastern Panhandle, the Alexander Archipelago.  The picture below shows the community as it appeared circa 1969; we moved there in 1975 so it wasn’t much different even then, since small, isolated, island-locked towns aren’t known for quick changes!  Small towns, in general, are fairly bass-ackwards for the most part; in Alaska, a common saying is “Set your clock back one hour (if you’d moved there from the West coast), but set your calendar back 50 years!” – it’s still the same to this day.  I was last there when my son graduated from high school, back in 2008, and it was the same as far as people’s attitudes went.  Seeing Mendenhall Glacier again made me weep for two reasons: I was overwhelmed with joy to see it, but saddened at how diminished it was – I’d last seen it in 1978.  But nnnnnnnnooooooooo….there’s just NO SUCH THING as ‘global warming / human-induced climate change’, right?!?  Fucking morons…

Digressing again!  Mini-quakes were a regular occurrence, and the climate can best be described as a ‘temperate rain forest’…does it ever rain up there!  Half of my Alaskan residency has been spent on boats – I have my ‘sea-legs’, LOL – and roaming the woods with my brothers was always a lot of fun.  For some reason, I began thinking about the first crush on a boy I ever had…not sure why, so feel free to quit reading if this subject bores you, ROFL…

Wrangell Harbor – Wrangell, AK

Now, when you have siblings of the opposite gender, one of many benefits is their friends – especially if they were cute!  I noticed one boy in particular, mainly because his parents were friends with ours, so he and his younger brother were around us on a regular basis – his name was Svend; his younger brother was Leif.  His mom was so nice and would give me books all of the time: the Serendipity series, the Frog & Toad books, Riki-Tiki-Tavi, and the Tales of Mr. Pengachoosa were among my favorites.  She also gave us the Tintin and Asterix series (I much preferred Asterix), as well as graphic-novel versions of classics such as the Last of the Mohicans, the Swiss Family Robinson, and Lorna Doone, among others.  The boys left with their mom after their parents separated; their father had an affair with some other woman and moved in with her, so it was understandable that they would go.  I was disappointed to say the least…Svend was definitely my first major crush.

Quite the good-looking one, as I recall: brown hair, long and shaggy in the 70s style; green (or were they hazel?) eyes, and a smattering of freckles on his nose…and a smile from heaven.  He was a couple of years older than me – I think I was 7 when we all met and 14 when they moved away.

I recall many satisfying, “heavy-petting” sessions in the fort in the woods behind the house in Wrangell…he signed my yearbook before he left; I was a sophomore – he wrote: “You are a very weird person and you look like Grace Jones.”  I laughed at him and thanked him for the compliment!  He was a Dungeons & Dragons geek too, so he was one to talk, LMAO

The ‘cup monster’…ROFLMAO!!  Ah, yes…fond memories…heheheheheh…

I hope he and his brother are doing well.  I haven’t thought of them in ages…I used to have a Classmates account, but I didn’t find the people I was looking for: Svend and Leif, Einar and his brother Michael, Erika, the Stewarts, Junko and Noriko, and Sumi.  My good acquaintances from long ago…it would be nice to know how they are doing these days.

Here are three songs that make me think of those past, happy times…enjoy.

John Cougar Mellencamp: “Cherry Bomb

Opus: “Live is Life

The Dream Academy: “Life In a Northern Town

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