Me? I was just trying to find my place. Still in the one-room school, I didn’t have “junior high” days. Maybe the Saturday Catechism classes at church could count as a social experience with peers.
I felt quite grown up when I grocery shopped with Mom. Women went to town on Saturdays with pin curls or rollers in their hair, so they’d be ready to stand by their men when they went out honky tonkin’ after the sun went down. Filling four brown grocery sacks cost around $20. Cheerios and Wheaties were 59 cents a box, and coffee, 69 cents a pound. Spices only came in cans.
For my twelfth birthday Dad bought me an upright piano that he gave $25 for. I could never master the bass clef notes. In the seventh and eighth grades I played for our singing in country school, pounding out the same notes with the left hand as the right. Later in high school I played the piano for the little kids in Sunday school.
More and more at this time in my life I sought solitude. During noisy times I ran outside on nice days or escaped to my room. I filled Big Chief tablet pages with word games, rhyming words, anagrams, and homonyms. I searched for big words and then listed all the small words hidden within. I made lists of vocabulary words from the books that I read, and other words that rang musical to my ear. I switched my name around backwards so it was Eerol Lesom.
As an adult I ran across the word philologer. Philologer is what I was and still am due to reading and playing with words every spare moment I have. Except now I do crosswords and word searches in large print (and write stories ☺).
What do you remember of your awkward younger times?