Reading

I love reading, but my love for books and stories didn't come from parental influence.  It came from waiting for my mom to pick me up on her way home from work. I began spending the two-and-a-half hours after school in the Woodlawn Branch Library. This is the library we always visited, especially duping the Summer Reading Program, a prize of some sort for the most books read during the summer upon return to school. It was directly across the street from my high school.

I never won.  My next door neighbor usually did, but by reading small books with a few pages.  I chose real books.

The very first book I remember reading was The Mystery of the Wooden Indian by Elizabeth Honness.  It was a young person's mystery novel , a great story, with good characters.  The kids in the Honness mysteries became my best friends; I was a member of their team. I may have been in love with Barbara.  Or, was it Nancy?  The oldest one.

As I approached my teen years, I began reading Science Fiction.  My first book was Apollo at Go by Jeff Sutton about the first landing on the moon using the planned technology for the actual missions.  Then I read Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert,  Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein, everything by them I could get.  By far, my favorite story The Sands of Time by P. Schuyler Miller.

As a kid, mom and dad let me join the Science Fiction Book Club.  At one time I had an very extensive library for a young boy.  My favorites were the anthologies of short stories published as The World's Best Science Fiction each year.  When I began moving with the Army, I gave them all away.

In my teens, I began my love of history, Ancient, early American, and Civil War, mostly.  History remains my primary focus today.

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