Part One

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Childhood; Barron (1963-1971)

My hospital baby picture. Not sure I am truly an old soul, but you have to admit, I sure looked like a little old man when I arrived in 1963.

Me at three or four, in pin curls.

Getting beautiful for church. The hose on the hair dryer had a tendency to overheat my neck, just behind my right ear. I recall reaching up there to block it. (1967)

Pete, Jeff and Jill looking dapper in our 1967 living room. Our music-loving parents had a charming habit of decorating our walls using old instruments.

I just assumed everyone had three-foot snowbanks at the end of their driveway in the winter. Who knew? (1967)

The Thompson family, circa 1967, not looking all that happy. I suspect we were starting to feels the cracks in the foundation.

My first day of kindergarten. My necklace held a Little Kiddle doll that is unfortunately turned backwards.

My kindergarten report card shows I was mostly a straight-S (Satisfactory) student, but dropped the ball on “working carefully and neatly,” proving that people really can change. (1968)

I was five or so when I wrote this letter to Santa and gave it to my mom to mail.

To show that the sleigh and reindeer flew off into the air from our backyard, my dad strapped two-by-fours, on edge, to the bottom of his feet. Then walking our dog, Pepper, between his legs, he shuffled his way through the snow from our house to the back end of the garage. When he got to the corner of the garage, he picked up the dog and jumped sideways to land behind the garage. (Later in life I learned that most people just put a half-eaten cookie or carrot by the fireplace on Christmas Eve and call it a night. Pikers.)

We went camping in that egg-shaped camper until we moved to Rice Lake in 1971 and bought a 26-foot Rolite, which we all lived in for a summer. Here we are on Pete’s birthday, circa 1970.

My dad sang bass in the Butterchords, a barbershop quartet. While never big-time, they did actually make a record, recording at least some of it in our living room.

 

Butterchords: Daddy Sang Bass (Music)

Butterchords: Preacher and the Bear (Music)

Butterchords: Just Looking (Music)

 

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