Thursday, June 29, 2006


A lot of you will find this hard to believe, but I was pretty sexually involved way back in the second and third grades – it’s true! Now, please note I said involved – I did not say knowledgeable or accomplished!

I was blessed to live in a 1950’s neighborhood full of Beavers (not related to the story), Walleys, Wards, and Junes. They visited each other on the weekends and played cards, made ice cream, and watched “Gorgeous George” wrestling on little 9” black & white TV screens. However, they didn’t sit in living rooms and watch TV, they usually turned the TVs around to the screened window and watched from their metal lawn chairs, you know the ones with the scalloped backs, while the kids either sat on top of the hand cranked ice cream maker, ate the salty ice from under the towel that lay on top of the crank, or just ran around chasing fire-flies. But mostly, they laughed and laughed.

During the week the Cleaver families hung over fences and talked and sometimes even yelled at each other about what their kid had done to theirs. I’ve even seen red hair flying from time-to-time, but after a few weeks they were back talking over the fence or inviting each other over for a Rook game. They didn’t seem to hold grudges long then, and I think it was because they were closer and knew each other better and understood and forgave mistakes like brothers and sisters.

I was also blessed that I was the only boy in a neighborhood full of girls. The only boy to fill the role of husband when a wild game of “house” broke out! The girls would set up the table and chairs and plates and other girly things while I filled the role of bread winner by plucking seed pods from locus trees, wild onion shoots, and the little balls from sweet gum trees - anything that resembled food.

I also was a part-time cowboy and often had to fend off Indians when they imaginarily attacked my happy household. I would ride off on long hunts around the yard or even neighborhood and was always welcomed home by my loving play wife.

Things were pretty good, but all the while, unbeknownst to me, my mother watched me play with the girls and sip imaginary coffee and tea and pretended to chomp on bean pods, and worried. She wondered what effect this would have on me later in life, shucks, I even held a doll on occasion when it got out of control!

The real blessing I was enjoying went unseen by Mom. The girls liked to play doctor and liked the kind where the patient was completely naked. They were curious little devils and I didn’t mind – not at all – besides, it felt strangely good to be examined…down there!

At this point you should be humming:
Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy
Out in the back seat of my '60 Chevy (well, this didn’t apply)
Workin' on mysteries without any clues
Workin' on our night moves (thanks Bob)

We were working on mysteries and didn’t have a clue, but it felt good and there was really no actual sex involved – just perfecting our “night moves” for the future. You know, checking out the equipment and getting it ready for action, whatever that meant!

Usually playing doctor was one-on-one, but mind you, there were at least 5 girls that made demands on my “play doctor” calendar. Therefore, I was booked most weeks in basements, old abandoned dog houses (some really large dog houses in that old neighborhood), and yes, an occasional cornfield out where the woods got heavy. I was having a ball (especially the girls – no pun intended)!

However, all good things must come to an end – Mom decided I needed to learn to play with boys (Yuck!). So, she sent me across the field behind the house to the neighboring subdivision to play with a boy my age.

It was quite fun, we played cowboys and Indians, and best of all Army! His dad had built him a wooden Jeep, replete with stirring wheel and windshield in his backyard. We played for hours on that old crate and only on occasion did I miss playing doctor.

It’s a good thing I never brought the subject up too, because my little playmate decided he was GAY later in life and I never told anyone (until now – some 52 years later) that I used to “play with him” – ARMY, that is!

And now, my Mom will know just how close she came to putting my sexuality in jeopardy. But, I think, had anything like that come up I would have had the presence of mind to say “BUT MOMMA, I’D RATHER PLAY DOCTOR!”


Ron Southern said...

You mean, "But Momma, I'd rather play doctor with the girls!"

Mushy said...

Yeah, that's what's implied...hopefully the reader will understand that I'm referring to the girl part.

If not, and I get comments to the contrary, then I'll change it.

Thanks for critiquing it Ron.

Debbie said...

It's nice to have memories of childhood times. Sounds like you had a very happy time growing up and a mother who loved you. That's a lot to look back on and be thankful.

If you are interested in the latest on terrorism in the world, politics, current events, check out Right Truth. The door's always welcome for visitors.

Debbie, proud member of the Rocky Top Brigade and proud resident of West Tennessee

genderist said...

I'd argue that playing doctor is way better than being one...

(yet some more RTB love)