I played with dolls and blocks and loved board games, but my favorite childhood toys were the microscope, chemistry set, and electronics kit that allowed me to build a radio transmission device—I had my own station that broadcast to the four walls of my bedroom. I played by myself a lot. 🤓
  1. After reading the book, Follow My Leader by James Garfield, I pretended I was blind for an afternoon. I wanted to understand the struggles of the boy in the story.
    Our next door neighbor saw me walking in the front yard, tapping a yardstick out in front of me, and mentioned it to my mom. I had to explain what I was doing.
  2. I had a natural history museum stand on my driveway.
    Many people stopped by assuming I was selling lemonade. My museum stand was free and included fossils, a praying mantis, some rock and mineral specimens, a crystal growing kit (magic rocks?), and a few seashells.
  3. I took apart anything I could get my hands on, then put it back together.
    TV remotes, radios, my mom's hand mixer; nothing was off limits.
  4. I listened to children's records, classical and opera, rock and roll, international music, and protest folk music.
    And I loved it all.
  5. I watched sports with my dad, but on my own, I watched golf, boxing, lots of baseball, and bullfighting from Tijuana with my sisters.
    Oh, and fake wrestling.
  6. I read the majority of books in the children's section and moved on to the adult books. My mom had to check them out for me.
    I started reading plays, because I thought it was cool, but moved on to nonfiction and mysteries. I checked out the weighty Carnival by Arthur Lewis, started reading in the car on the way home, kept going while my mom went shopping at May Company, and read through the evening until around three a.m. I convinced my mom I was sick the next day to stay home from seventh grade. This was not a book for an eleven-year-old, but it was fascinating. I learned about things I still wish I didn't know.
  7. I enjoyed looking at the phone book.
    The Yellow Pages ads were fascinating! All the businesses and things for sale were a wonderland for me. And I liked the drawings and pictures. It was years before I understood what was going on with the pretty ladies and the words "outcall" in the ads. The world is a sordid place, even in the Yellow Pages.
  8. I also read the dictionary on a regular basis.
    No wonder I didn't play with many kids ....😬