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Saturdays A Long Time Ago

Around 1966 or so my Dad was posted to Fort Carson, Colorado.  I was eight years old.  Saturday morning cartoons hadn’t started yet, so as soon as breakfast was wolfed down I was out of the house and would stay out until dark.  The Rule was, “The street lights come on, you come home.” So what does a neighborhood full of Army brats do? Play war or course.  Everyone had cowboy cap guns and holsters and we MADE machine gun looking toys from wood nailed together.  The most coveted weapon was the Tommy Gun.  Of course I had one.  I’m an only child. Sharing is someone else’s problem.


Not being a civilian, I didn’t get the detective set. For a pistol, I had a full sized, plastic M1911 .45. That one was so life like that Dad took it on maneuvers so he wouldn’t have to check a real one out of the armory. I was really pissed that he lost all the bullets for it on one bivouac. I still picture Dad in my mind hosing away with plastic bullets.

Me and My Tommy Gun

Me and my Trusty Winchester.

Yes, I was that small.

We would spend ALL DAY chasing each other around the NCO quarters. Once we took on the Officers’ kids in a huge battle with maybe 100 kids. We took prisoners. We had medics. We’d argue about muzzle velocity and effective cover and come to blows over who shot who first.


Then came the ultimate weapon….


Yeah, I got one of those too.  It didn’t last long.  All the grenades and other shoot ’em stuff disappeared.  It got disassembled so much it couldn’t be put back together.  In the end, the pistol part soldiered on alone.


{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Ken Rankin August 21, 2010, 09:48

    Yep, I recall those days. We often pretended we were in a Sergio Leone film or storming the beaches somewhere. My parents wondered where I was all day long and then I would come home dirty from head to toe. There were no cell phones. The first Atari was years away yet. When the kids were born, I figured out a way to call them in at any time. I had seen a thing on the TV about animals knowing the call of their parent and I ran with it. I could whistle really loud, so I would give two loud whistles. The kids simply had the rule that they had to be close enough to hear it, which was about one block. We were the envy of the other families in how easily we could get them to come home on command from so far away. Our neighbors started telling their kids that if mine came running home, they were to follow. To this day, if I want their attention, I simply give two whistles and they will come running.

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