(Editor’s Note: Last year I wrote "When I Was Eight," a short story for my youngest son on the occasion of his eighth birthday. I’ve decided to post that story here, one chapter per day, for three days. Keep in mind the story was written for an eight year old…so the tone is quite simple!)
There were four people in my family: my Mom, named Marie, my sister Norma, who is six years younger than me, my Dad, and I. My Mom was a housewife who also did office work from time to time, which was pretty unusual in the early 1950s. Most mothers didn’t work in those days; they usually stayed home and took care of the family. My father, whose name was also Buck, was in the Air Force. He was a “career” Air Force man, which means he was in the Air Force for over 20 years…just like I was. My Dad worked in the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, or OSI, which is sorta like the FBI, only military. In the late summer of 1952 my family was living in
My Dad left for
My grandmother lived in a brick two-bedroom house in northern
So. We settled in to wait for Dad to write and tell us he had found a house and we could leave for
I suppose my stay in
An Old Schwinn, Similar to Mine
I had one exciting experience while in
An Eastern Air Lines
We stayed in
Just like 2004, 1952 was an election year and the country was caught up in the campaign. The presidential campaign of 1952 is the first one I remember. Dwight Eisenhower, a very famous World War II general, was the Republican candidate for president and Adlai Stevenson was the Democratic candidate. I remember arguing with my grandmother about why Ike was better than Stevenson…after all, Ike was a Five-Star general and a war hero! What had Stevenson done that made him better than Ike? My Mom, Mana, and Granny all helped me understand what the election was all about, but if I remember correctly, I thought it was just a big game. Each political party (we have two major parties: the Republicans and the Democrats) has a “convention” during election years. People from all over the country gather in a city for a week and discuss the election, listen to speeches, and decide how they are going to run their campaign. The Republicans had their convention in
One final thing about the election. I don’t know if you saw them, but people wear buttons during the election campaign with the name of their candidate on the button. It’s a way of letting people know who you support, and it’s also a way to get conversations started about politics. Here’s a picture of the button I had in 1952, and the button I had this year!
Part III is here.