POPEYETHETURTLE

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My Life Continues and I Graduate from Kindergarten

Monday, January 05, 2009

It may very well (probably) take me more than this blog to tell about my life. For anyone following this, I have to warn you, some of the stuff you may read here is going to be rated G, some PG14, some R and a little bit X (mostly for violence – if I’m lucky, there will be some nudity!)

Between the time my brother was born, we had a move that placed us directly across the street from a Primary School, Kindergarten through, I don’t remember.

I guess you could call this next my first REAL trauma, because it was hurtful. It was probably not as hurtful as it would have been if I had been older, but confusing and hurtful all the same.

One evening after dinner and just before my brother and I were going to go to bed, my father told my brother and I to come into the kitchen for a “serious talk”. Well, we had been sent out of the room before when there was going to be a serious talk, but this was the first time we were going to be in on one. I was both excited and a little scared.

My father had us set on two of the table chairs while he sat at the head of the table. To the best of my recollection, the conversation went something like this.

“You boys may not understand what I’m going to tell you, but I felt it was my duty as your father to explain it to the best of my ability. Your mother and I are going to be getting a divorce. A divorce is something that happens between a mother and father where they can’t live together anymore. It doesn’t have anything to do with you boys, your mother and I still love you, I just won’t be living here anymore. I can’t think of anything else to say, except that I love you. Do you have any questions you’d like to ask me”?

Well, since I then had no real comprehension of what a divorce was (and neither did my brother - who later turned out to be a genius), we didn’t have a single question. We went to bed as normal, and when we awakened the next morning, my father wasn’t at breakfast. That, in itself, wasn’t abnormal, because my father went in to work early quite often.
Over the course of the next few months, my brother and I got used to not having our father around, because our Uncle Jim and Aunt Judy lived in the other part of the duplex, and we spent some time with them, went to parks, went to the beach and just generally did what little boys did – except we were smarter and didn’t get caught quite as often as others. Plus, we did get to see our father some weekends, and when we went with him, he always took us to someplace fun.

In California, to start kindergarten at that time, a child must be five by September 30th. I was five September 21st, which that meant I had to take some tests to determine whether I had the skills necessary to attend school.

Since I was already reading a little bit and knew my numbers up to 100, they pronounced me ready to take on the rigors of education – I don’t think in those days they did much looking down the road or thinking about the social development of the children. I did just fine in kindergarten, because hey, the day was mostly about playing, learning to get along with others – I could do that, and taking naps. I think I got an A+ in naps.

Sometime during kindergarten, a really big man with a motorcycle started visiting, and we were introduced to our very first Policeman. He was really cool because he would give me and my brother rides on his motorcycle, a HUGE Harley-Davidson.

The time frame is a little fuzzy here, but sometime around the time I “graduated” from kindergarten, our mother told us that she and this big man were going to get married and we would move to another house. That was OK with us, heck; life was just a big adventure up to this point.

Two points here: one, this was the first time I changed schools (make a note of that because there will be a test at the end); and two, we had quit seeing very much of our father.
We moved from Las Angeles to the suburb of South San Gabriel.
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