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Christmas Morning - 1956 - Southern California

By Charles S., Cripple Creek, Colorado

My father, aka 'Chief', hamming it up on Christmas morning. Seemingly a right of passage back in the old days, your 10th or 11th Christmas usually was the occasion of getting your BB gun. This was your first chance to show how responsible and thoughtful you were becoming on the way to manhood. So how did you demonstrate this budding maturity? By joining all of your other pals in the neighborhood (who also seemed to get their Red Ryders at about the same time in their lives), divide up into sides, and have BB gun wars! Who knew what epic battles could be fought over a buddy's front yard?! 

The defenders of the Alamo or the Marines at Chosin Reservoir certainly lacked our courage under fire!! The 8th Infantry at Normandy couldn't possibly have been as brave as when we assaulted Kendall's backyard!!! Though a wonder, not an eye was lost. (But, Damn!, those things could sting!) I've always been of the opinion that to have been born an American and to have grown up here in the 50's, 60's, and 70's was to have won the lottery of life. Those were the days.

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