Ahhhh . . . the 60's.
It . . . was . . . a different time, a different place, a different attitude. When the word “housewife” stood for a honest-to-goodness—stay around the house and clean, and mind the kids and do the laundry and wipe the dishes—full-time job. Imagine . . . no second family income . . . it boggles the mind!
A time when a man sweated in an honest job for a decent days pay. Worked long, hard, and enjoyed his trade and took pride in his work. Time for a beer after the job, and then home to eat supper with the wife and family.
On weekend television there was the Friday Night Fights, Bonanza on Saturday, Ed Sullivan and Lawrence Welk on Sunday; a time when there was no such animal as the remote control. When popcorn was a special treat served once a week, a Saturday luxury. When homework—not computer games—occupied ones time. Kids in bed at 9:00; 10:00 on weekends. Church on the Sabbath—and everybody went—and there were no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
And one young man’s fancy drifted from thoughts of sandlot baseball, street corner football, and backyard basketball; into the fantasy of war. Combat enacted out in the neighborhood woods using tree limbs whittled to resemble rifles. Hunting friends in make believe battle. Mano a mano. Half-dozen or so kids vs. a half-dozen or so kids; in an all out skirmish for bragging rights. Underlined by a ferocity that exceeded the play-acting . . . sort of like a game of tag for keeps.
But when it came down to the real nitty-gritty . . . you couldn’t be a real warrior until you’ve been in a real war.