Another thing I want to share about my childhood, I was a voracious reader. Shortly after I was through the Dick And Jane, “See Spot run …” series, I did well at all the first, second, and third grade reading requirements. Then I discovered a number of old tomes in our attic that I tried to wade through, what they were, I can’t remember now, but I do recall that I found Zane Grey’s “Riders of the Purple Sage” and was turned onto his stories. I joined the Zane Grey Library Book Club (or something like that) and still have all of that collection that I bought back then. It was incomplete, only aboiut half the total volumes offered, and I have since seen the whole collection in used book stores and in antique stores. However, I have never completed the series.
I was also a huge comic book fan and had stacks and stacks of them, each of which I read through many times. Then there were the the “Boy’s Life” magazines my mother had subscribed for me.
My parents gave me a new book every Christmas which I would have completely read before Christmas break was over, mostly young boy adventure stories. By the time I finished eighth grade, I had read the classics: “Tarzan of the Apes”, “Treasure Island”, “Huckleberry Finn”, and “Moby Dick” to name the few titles I remember.
One saving grace of high school was the great library that included many volumes of fiction. I made good use of it, constantly reading some novel to escape the confines and rigidity of the boarding school, sometimes at the expense of studying.
I almost failed sophomore english simply because I could not grasp the supposed importance of diagramming sentences. I could not diagram a sentence today if my life depended on it. I recently saw an article expounding on the importance of diagramming. I looked at it and it still made no sense. I guess it might be important to know participles and stuff, but such is life. In my senior year english class, I read “The Moonstone” by Wilkie Collins for which I wrote a paper and received an A.
More next week . . .