Boyhood Joy

When I was a boy I lived about a block from Glorietta Bay which is a small Bay and part of San Diego Bay. I have so many memories of good times making and sailing little boats. Our boats were made of wood taken from an apple crate end or something like that. For our mast we used a piece of wood shaped into a peg about 10 inches long . The sail was a sheet of paper mostly. Once in awhile we got lucky and found a piece of cardboard from the back of a writing pad.

I especially liked to sail the boats at night. After dark we used a boat with a baby food bottle attached to the back deck. We always had kerosene because our stove was a kerosene stove. My Dad kept kerosene too because if our car ran out of gas before our Friday night payday arrived he used Kerosene to get to the gas station in our Model A Ford.

It was fun to watch the light on our fire boat gradually move across the bay. Sometimes I wondered if my boat was going to hit a yacht which in my boy’s mind might catch on fire. That idea was frightening because I was trained to always be good but maybe the idea appealed to me because we were so poor and the owners were so rich. I am sure that idea never reached my conscious mind but I think it boiled over because we were so poor and Coronado was so elite.

We also took potatoes down to bake them . We would dig a hole in the sand then build a fire in the hole. Unlike dirt sand is clean and if something unhealthy in the sand the tremendous heat would sanitize it. Lots of times we just buried the potato. Sometimes we wrapped it in a banana tree frond. Most of the time the outer layer of the potato got burned. Then we melted margarine in it. That flavor, enriched by the charcoal flavor was so delicious.

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