I have to get ready for my birthday party this Sunday, the 4th of July, so I don’t have a lot of time. I’ll be thirteen years old tomorrow, Saturday, the third of July. My mom said she was glad I came out before the fourth because she knew I was gonna be an awful big baby. I was, 8 pounds 3 ounces. My mom had six kids and I was the biggest one. She said I hurt the most, whatever that means.
Before I forget or get too much older I would like to tell ya all a story about a train set I got from my dad last Christmas. It was only a few months ago, but it already seems like a long time ago. So maybe if you could sit for a while, I’ll tell you my story. It’s a Friday night around nine o’clock and it’s still light outside. I’m really excited about becoming a teenager tomorrow—I’ve been waiting a long time. Besides, I’m too excited to sleep.
It all started when we moved back to Seattle from Kansas City, Missouri. Ya see, my dad is in the food service business and he got transferred to Kansas City about two years ago. After that, everything went downhill for my dad. I mean he was so upset all the time when we lived down there. Our first day down there in July, it was 102°. It was so hot that pop bottles were exploding inside a truck that didn’t have a refrigerator. I mean you could hear ’em go pop- pop- pop!—one right after the other. I thought we were gettin’ shot at or something. Me, and my brothers, Adam and Carl were so scared we ducked down in the back seat of my dad’s Plymouth station wagon. But my dad told us it was okay and we all got out of the car and went over to the truck. When we got over there we couldn’t believe what we saw. There was broken pop bottles and foam all over the truck’s wooden floor. And it was hot as hell inside that truck. It was our first day in Kansas City and it seemed like we were in hell.