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001 First Memories
002 Hampton Road
003 Cedar Wood
004 A Room Of My Own
005 School Days
006 My Friend Wayne
007 A Great Flood
008 My Mother Makes Biscuits
009 To Disneyland
010 We Go To Mexico
011 The Cabin In The Woods
012 We Go To Yosemite
013 Grandma Nelson
014 Nelson Nursery Early Years

I.B. Nelson according to himself

My Friend Wayne

I.B. Nelson Cartoon of pirate with blazing pistols and burning pigtails
©I.B. Nelson

Pirates

I had several school chums who lived nearby; Garvin was around the corner and his family kept pigeons while Wayne Cathey lived across Hampton Road, a couple of houses down. There were two very important things about Wayne; he had a very cool upstairs room with a large wood-block train set and his backyard bordered on the San Lorenzo Creek. All the parents in the area were concerned that one day one or another of the local children would drown in the creek. None ever did, but the fear remained nonetheless. I was delighted that Wayne's backyard bordered directly on the creek as it afforded us an opportunity to indulge in the most important local activity; playing pirates; we could slip directly into the creek bed from Wayne's back yard. We would 'borrow' our fathers red handkerchiefs or bandannas for pirate headgear (tying then in fancy knots at the back of the neck) and our mothers clip-on earrings for 'pirate earrings', many of which were lost in our rough-housing along the creek. Any new house construction in the neighborhood supplied survey stakes which were exactly right for the manufacture of deadly swords and many bloody pirate battles were contested in the San Lorenzo Creek.

Bay Trees and Tadpoles

A block away stood an ancient Bay tree on the very edge of the creek, which, though still alive, had completely rotted heartwood and was thus hollow; it sloped down into the creek and made a perfect 'pirate slide' either for a quick entrance to the creek below or for disposing of victims in our pirate games. Of course, 'pirates' carried glass mason jars to store tadpoles, frogs and tiny fish scooped up in the creek. Many a mother was startled while cooking by coming face to face with some little fish or tadpole in a jar on the kitchen counter.