It is that little things conspire. I was a child once, when the NFL was in its infancy and stock car racing was actual cars. North Central Airlines morning flight of DC-3s flew over the barn, in concert with the end of milking time. I remember looking up to the crackle of those big radial engines, on dark mornings a long blue flame extended beyond the exhaust pipes. As a child I wanted to fly, not necessarily to get any place, but the chance to sit in the seat behind that fabulous exhaust pipe.
A focal point of my childhood was the Boy Scouts and the hope of someday having enough pickle money to buy the complete uniform. Our patrol did own a complete Boy Scout uniform and on occasions when one of us was honored with a new merit badge, we borrowed the remaining components of the outfit.
It happened we were about the same size, except for me being three years younger than Roger Precourt and Tommy Soik, then four years younger than my brother Bob, by consequence the pants didn’t fit me none too smart but they were official. The Rattlesnake Patrol wasn’t into merit badges, truth being we had kinda plateaued out on a lot of Boy Scout stuff including the class advances from Tenderfoot to Eagle. We were after all farmboys, we had named our patrol after the 50-gun frigate of John Paul Jones, the “Rattlesnake” as harried the British fleet with ungentle tactics.