The best of times

Published 2:54 pm Sunday, November 5, 2017

Let us start a new series that will take you on a journey of a young boy growing up in a small town. This will not be fiction but rather my memories of growing up in Washington. It just so happens for many of us, they were the best of times. This is not a Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer column, just people and times from the ’50s and ’60s that impacted my life more than I thought possible. Looking back on my youth and even now, these events and people impacted my life in a way that helped make me the man you see today.

We were raised on the corner of Telfair and 10th streets, and like so many, had a Mom and Dad that taught my sister, Rose Ann, and me the value of treating all people with respect. Such words as “yes, ma’am,” “no ma’am,” “thank you” and “please” were my Dad’s favorite words, along with Mr. and Mrs., and we were taught to use them when addressing any adult. And yes, they were reinforced at school! Once, I asked my Mom about the importance of these words, and she told me that everyone, regardless of his station in life is entitled to be shown some dignity and respect and addressing them in this manner was a way of showing them the respect, humility and dignity they so deserved. All parents insisted that these values taught at home should be reinforced at school or at any other place we may have assembled.

Also, bad news seemed to travel fast! Never one to question my parents, to this day, I have always wondered if parents had a fraternity or a pipeline they communicated through because my parents always knew when either of us had done something wrong. Bad behavior was not tolerated! My parents would never share where this information came from. If we were spanked at school, it was worse at home. If my Dad came to school (and he did a few times) …. use your imagination as to the severity. Still, the pipeline in a small town had to start somewhere.

Life was good, yet simple. Telfair Street was still sand and rocks, thus allowing my imagination to run wild. Having a supply of rocks, it afforded me, with the use of a tobacco stick, to hit rocks and beat the New York Yankees many times. The side of our house just below the kitchen window was flat and perfect for a tennis ball or rubber ball to be thrown against. I turned many double plays off that wall after hitting rocks in the street. Maybe today, imagination could be missing and replaced with computers and television.

For me, these were the best of times! I hope you will allow me an opportunity to share my memories of growing up in Washington during the ’50s and ’60s. The lessons learned and friendships made during my formative years provided me many fond memories that I would like to share in a series each week.

Until next week, hope some of my memories will bring back good memories for you. Thanks for the memories.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.