From the summer of 1957 through the summer of 1960, this was my playground:
This is Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, situated on the northwest end of the island of Puerto Rico. It was a ‘magical’ place to spend a childhood, and a safe place for a kid. (I was 11, 12 and 13 during this time.) And we had the “run” of the base! No, we couldn’t play on the flightline – they had airplanes out there and if you got hit by a prop, you probably would make it. We didn’t need to be told about this when we were kids – it was ‘obvious!’ LOL! But we could go just about anywhere else, and often did.
Of course we had “organized” activities, like Little League baseball (I was Nr. 7 on the NY Yankees – no pressure there!) But my favorite activities were the “unsupervised” ones. Exploring the beach, fishing, swimming, camping, digging spent bullets from the base firing range, horseback riding, golf, and so forth. I suppose it was as close to a ‘Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn’ experience a kid could hope for. And I loved it!
I think these experiences at Ramey gave me a sense of independence that I have never recovered from. (LOL). I don’t understand “play dates;” nor from what I’ve heard of them I don’t want to know about them. The “magic” of my childhood has been replaced today with structure and supervision – and that sucks (from my perspective). We don’t seem to be letting “little boys” be “little boys” anymore, and that sucks!
While I am still here, before I meet my obamacare Death Panel, I plan on showing my grand sons how “the cow eats the cabbage!” Hope to teach them to love and respect the woods (nature) as I do. I am much more comfortable in the woods than I am in a city… and I certainly feel safer.
Hope to travel back to Ramey one of these days – soon…