Letter- Victor Flatt
Response to My Front Porch dated Oct. 7, 2023
Hello Sam. I am writing this letter is response to the inspiration I got from your weekly article. I related to the article and it reminded me of my youth days.
I am 84 years old, born and raised in Waco. My youthful days described by your friend from Abilene happened a little earlier. My dad died in 1945 in WWII as a pilot of a B-24 bomber. I was six years old at the time. After his death, me, my brother, sister and mother temporarily moved in with our grandparents. This was common in those days, as too many families lost their fathers to that tragic war. My grandparents were the “rock” upon whom we depended.
But boys will be boys. In the late ‘40s we were subject to the same youthful ignorance that caused so many of us to make youthful mistakes.
I also had a gang of friends doing all kinds of things. There was no television in those days, only radio. We would listen to such programs as “the Lone Ranger,” “the Green Hornet” and “Mister District Attorney.” I, too, along with my friends, got caught playing with matches with the appropriate punishment. We used to play medieval knights using wooden swords and trash can lids as shields to do battle. We used to play “Tarzan” swinging from vine (rope) to vine in the jungle (trees), sometimes missing and crashing to the jungle floor.
One of the most idiotic things we did was to builda “secret cave”. In my friend Bobby’s back yard, behind the detached garage, the three of us dug straight down several feet with the intention of enlarging our cave. We even created a hoist with a bucket to get the dirt out. At the end of the day, before Bobby’s dad got home, we would cover the work up with limbs for camouflage. One day Bobby’s dad came home early and caught us “red-handed”. He made us get out of the hole and stomped on the edge, causing the whole thing to collapse. He then made us fill the hole. When he removed his large black leather belt to administer the appropriate punishment, I took off running home, only to be subjected to the same result.
Just one more example of youthful ignorance. Our grandparents also had chickens for eating and eggs. I would go with my grandmother to help her gather eggs. I noticed that some of the eggs had a little “X” marked on them in pencil. I asked “Big Mamma” what that meant. She informed me that those eggs will hatch and become chickens. From that time, until way too late in life, I believed that the way you make chickens was to mark the eggs with an “X”.
I could go on, but you get the point. As a young boy you learned from life’s lessons; some were useful, some were painful. If you survived them all you became a man.
To all young boys and girls. Enjoy life as it is presented to you.