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The Long Road To Fifty: 4

June 4th, 2014

I suspect that this photo would’ve been placed more accurately in the previous post, but it’s dated July 1968 so I’m using it today instead. I hope that I’m only three years old here, or at least that the bottle is a security object rather than being used for its intended purpose.


I certainly do recognize the two bears. I had a lot of stuffed animals, but these two were the ones I loved most. I wish I could remember their names.

In general, I charitably could have been termed a late bloomer. I know that I was slow to pick up certain skills, like tying my shoelaces. In later years, I stubbornly clung to my tricycle despite being old enough for a bike. The latter most likely had less to do with developing slowly than it did my anxiety about being hit by a car.

Here is a partial list of things that irrationally frightened me as a young child:

  • Spiders. (They still do.)
  • Loud noises such as fireworks or (especially) the big cannon that inevitably served as the final act of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
  • High ceilings, particularly those found in the central halls of Chicago’s Field Museum and Museum of Science & Industry. To this day, I don’t understand this one. It felt to me as if I would somehow fall upwards. Dad loved to take me to the museums, and for the most part I enjoyed them, but always had to walk through the great hall with my head down.
  • You know the opening credits of Star Trek? The bit where the starship Enterprise zooms straight at the camera? That.
  • Werewolves.


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