My earliest memory of interacting with other kids, was as a three-year-old boy. One of the elders, a boy who had reached the ripe old age of four, and who also lived in my Queens, New York apartment building, introduced me to other little urchins.
As I recall there were approximately ten of us and we’d spend the days climbing the Cyclone fences in the remote obscure areas in the rear of the apartment buildings and private homes. This long-ago kid got me accepted with other young kids. He did this out of the goodness of his big little four-year-old heart. He did it without a trace of ulterior motives. He did it because he was my friend.
Because of my experiences with this early nineteen fifties little rascal type of gang, I knew that I was forced to learn to climb if I wanted to hang around with these guys. And I did want just that. It worked out in that because of this early on the spot risky climbing as a novice little kid, I ended up becoming a decent athlete when I became a grizzled old codger of about seven years old. And the kid who befriended me and who cared about me enough to hook me up with my peers? I’m a month and a half short of my sixty eighth birthday and I haven’t seen this kid in sixty-three or sixty-four years, other than the occasional sad, dim memory of him. I wonder what happened to this great little kid. And I’m certain that I’ll never know. Sad, but….