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March 08, 2005
Things About Russ - 1960s Edition

I was almost born in a VW Beetle. My folks were on the way to the hospital to have me when their car car ran out of gas. Beetles made before 1962 had no gas gauge... but fortunately, they also had a one-gallon fuel reserve.

I had the chicken pox twice.

I was only 18 months old, so I didn't know at the time what was happening, but I remember the hubbub surrounding the JFK assassination.

My first stitches, at age 5, were the result of unintentionally intercepting a rock with my head during a rock fight between some other kids in the neighborhood. I still have the scar.

The first movie I was ever taken to was The Sound of Music, at the Century theaters just up the street from the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. Thirty years later, I saw Men in Black in the same theater.

When I was 5, I used the word "ain't" in my father's presence for the first and last time.

The second movie I remember ever seeing was Planet of the Apes at a drive-in theater. Like the rock-catching incident, it scarred me for life.

As a child, I used to hold my breath until I passed out. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I don't quite remember doing that.

The first nightmare I ever had was about my Mom mysteriously falling out of our car while driving us kids somewhere.

The house our family moved into in 1968 in Cerritos, CA was only a block or two from a pick-them-yourself strawberry field. The L.A. area was much less built-up back then. I still love strawberries.

Many of my friends' parents spoke Dutch.

In the narthex in our church were photos of the young men in our congregation who had gone off to Vietnam. They seemed like giants to me... and still do.

The Apollo 11 moon landing was — and remains — the greatest event I ever saw on TV. I'm still a fanatic about the space program.

Hippies? Never liked them. Still don't.

Update, 3/9/05: Prompted by my own dear mother, I am forced to recall an incident which I had almost completely forgotten....

One day in 1968, maybe '69, I was roaming unsupervised (as little kids were wont to do back then) through our subdivision, examining some newly-built but as-yet-unoccupied houses. I ran across an adult who appeared to be doing the same, with his German Shepherd in tow... but not a very good tow — the dog attacked me. I was pretty severely bitten in several places, though I have no scars to remind me of the occasion.

I suppose my parents called the police when I came home crying and explained what had happened, because after I received medical treatment, I got to go for a ride in a police car with the very nice policeman who showed up. We went around the neighborhood looking for the dog and/or its owner. I don't think I was a very helpful witness, though.

I don't remember what, if anything, ever became of the dog or its owner.

Posted by Russ at 09:20 PM, March 8, 2005 in Personal Stuff

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Do you remember the German Shepherd incident in Cerritos?

Posted by: mom at March 9, 2005 12:53 PM

Ah, yes... that....

Being mauled was no fun. I'm surprised I don't have a phobia about dogs.

Posted by: Russ at March 9, 2005 01:27 PM

I remember those strawberrys . . . And they were good!!

Posted by: Robert at March 9, 2005 03:03 PM

Very nice, Russ! I can't really do a "Things About Beth- 1960s Addition"- it would be a short story- all of 2 months long.

This was a very cool post. And what's this about a dog?

Posted by: Beth at March 9, 2005 06:54 PM

Since you don't remember what happened to the dog or the owner, did you have to have a rabies series? (My sister got bit by a dog, and we couldn't confirm which dog it was, so she had to have the series. It was very bad.)

Posted by: LC BethW, ISW [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 10, 2005 02:10 AM