50 shades of gray Allen – Days 5-7
So here we are on the third installment of my march toward half a century in age. At least now things are starting to get interesting.
Well, just a little.
Still not a ton to actually remember here. But it was during this time that I started making friends that I’d have for years to come.
The first was Marine West. Marine was skinny and gangly, pretty much like every other kid at that age. Well, except for me, who always seemed be in the top percentile when it came to growth and size.
But Marine was one of my earliest friends. I can vaguely remember playing at the day care on the naval base and being forced to take naps on these mats that were not very comfortable. I never liked naps. Well, not until I got over 40.
In later years Marine turned out to be very attractive. I think I heard that she became a pilot for some airline.
This is where possibly my second earliest memory occurs. In April of 1969 the United States had surged ahead in the race to the moon, with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins reaching the surface. My mom and dad had one of those huge console televisions back in the day, and while the color was a little wonky, you could see Armstrong making his way down the ladder and eventually to the surface.
I’ve always had this weird sense of history. I see and look at things in a way very different from most folks. And even then I remember thinking just how incredible it was. Something told me that this was big. Even at age five I knew, this was big.
During this time my dad, Edwin Melvin Allen Sr., had become a huge fan of three things. He watched network news every waking minute except for when The Lawrence Welk Show or Star Trek was on.
My dad and I would talk about space and he’s always bring up watching Star Trek. And I always remember thinking what a dumb show it was. But about six years later I totally got it, and we’d hash out every episode down to the last detail. I’d draw versions of the Enterprise and I think he’d get excited, thinking I was going to become an engineer just like him.
To this day I still love that show and its various incarnations.
And I still have a weird attachment to champagne music.
As I entered kindergarten I can remember more friends, but n0ne more so than Roxanne Aslanian. Roxanne was kind of one of the guys, a tom boy. But she has become the one friend that I still remain in contact with today, 45 years later. She married one of my best friends in the world, Jeff Johnson, who I met just two years later through my other great friend Kurt Seaman. The three of us have been staying close for some 43 years this year.
Another person I met in that class was Jenny Rungo. I can remember sitting in class while Mrs. Osterman read to us. Her dad, Ralph Rungo would come in from his office and sit with us, listening intently and always flashing that huge smile. He later became my dentist (his slogan was the “Tender Tooth Mender”) and was the absolute best at making sure I felt minimal pain – even with 70s technology.
That’s a wrap for now. Next time it starts getting groovy as we head into the 70s!