Wednesday, July 07, 2004

When I was twelve... 

...I read mostly war stories -- WW2 and the Civil War, mostly. Erin O'Connor is asking for a list, suggesting that the way to deal with the inclusion of Tupac Shakur's poetry on summer reading lists is to remind teachers and administrators of what worked in a younger time. My parents had taken two subscriptions for us kids growing up (I'm the oldest of three): Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia (1963 edition, purchased as I went to first grade, arrived one volume a month), and the Readers Digest Condensed Books. As I recall there was also a junior version of that. But Tom Sawyer, My Friend Flicka, all of those, were in those books, which were placed in the bedroom I shared with my brother. I just read them. The only other readings were anything to do with World War II or the Civil War and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

I believe this was also the summer Dad started bring Classics Illustrated home. He'd keep one copy in mint condition and let me read the other. I probably owe more literary knowledge to comics and to Readers Digest than to anything else.

This was lastly the summer of my first wargaming. Gettysburg, Kriegspiel (great for beginners) and Blitzkrieg. The following summer delivered Panzerblitz (which is still my favorite.) I remember reading the first Albert Speer memoir that year and seeing Patton only about a dozen times.

Ah, good times, good times...