Thursday, January 03, 2013

Pop Quiz

True or False

 1- I was once the drum major of the Piedmont Junior High Band and spent the rest of my life trying to buy up pictures of me in uniform.

 2- I saw a man fire off a lethal weapon in Memorial Stadium. It wasn't an assault rifle; it was a flame thrower.

 3- Charles Mateer and I used to regularly ride the bus in Charlotte carrying fully loaded rifles.

 4- In 1943 a German fighter plane landed in my backyard.

 5- One time while playing in that same backyard, candy bars began floating down from the sky.

 6- Our next door neighbors on East 5th Street kept a goat in their fenced in backyard. Their kids had rigged a wagon for the goat to pull and many times my sister and I were treated to "goat rides."

 7- For my first two years in Sunday School at Saint John's Church, I was known as "Fred."

 8- During the war years, there was a "boneyard" about 15 miles outside of Charlotte where "junked" airplanes (mostly military) were stashed.  My Dad would drive some of my friends and me out there on Sunday afternoons where we would play just about all day in what was left of those planes. What fun that was!

 9- One of my friends found some weird balloons in his parents bedroom that we blew up and tied strings around and dragged behind us as we walked to the Saturday morning "kiddie show" at the Visulite Theater. The attention we received from onlookers was probably what influenced my decision to go into "show biz."


 1- TRUE.

Flame Thrower Demo
 2- TRUE. It was a demonstration of a "new weapon" being used at the time to encourage Japanese soldiers to come out of their caves. You could feel the heat all the way from the the field to the top row of Memorial Stadium.

 3- TRUE. Charles and I became members of the NRA when we were 12 years old. We had both received brand new 22 cal. rifles for our birthdays that year. At least two days a week we would catch the bus to go downtown to the NRA range and practice shooting.  Our mothers were sisters and grew up on a farm in Anderson, SC at a time when boys that age were expected to know how to use a gun.

Nazi Warplane

 4- FALSE. At least, that's what I was told. As far as I know that's the only time I've ever really and truly hallucinated. I hid under the bed for about hour afterward.

Piper Cub
 5- TRUE. An older boy, who lived 3 houses up the street, John Weeks, I believe was his name, had recently earned his pilot's license and on several occasions showed off by buzzing our neighborhood in his Piper Cub. On this particular day, seeing us playing in my backyard, he threw out several candy bars as he flew by.

unknown kid and goat
 6- TRUE. I don't remember their names, but they moved away after only a couple of years.

 7- TRUE. My mother didn't find out that my Sunday School teacher had been calling me "FRED" for two years until she saw it on my diploma. I think if there had been such a thing as "Aggression School" she would have enrolled me.

Airplane boneyard

 8- TRUE.  I have no idea what the name of that place was, or even where it was...and no one I've ever known knew anything about it either.  But I spent many Sunday afternoons out there playing "fighter pilot."

9- TRUE.  "Weird balloons"  Yes, that's what they were.