Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Like most children, I had a few fears.  Some were of real situations and some were of the uncertain.

I lived in hurricane country and those could be pretty scary.  I remember while in elementary school, we were released from school early one day because a hurricane was headed for a direct hit on Washington DC.  As I was walking home, the sky was very dark and threatening.  All the way home, I was praying that I'd make it home before the storm hit.  Once home, I went to the basement with our family to wait out the storm.

Something else that scared me were the air raid drills that we had in elementary school.  Fire drills were nothing.  But the idea that your school could be involved in an air raid because of it's proximity to Washington DC was pretty scary.  On a regular basis, the fire alarm would sound but we would be told it was an air raid drill.  We would either duck and cover under our desks or go out in the hallway to duck and cover by the lockers.  If you think about it, if the school was in the line of fire because of an attack on Washington, duck and covering under our desks or in the halls wasn't really going to make a big difference in our personal safety.

With good reason, I was terrified of dogs.  Neighbors across the street had a big black Doberman named Darby.  Darby was usually confined to the yard, but would get out once in awhile.  On those times, if I was outside, Darby would be in my yard, growling and barking at me.  It was pretty menacing since Darby's huge teeth and mouth were at my face level.  I didn't like the other neighbor's Irish Setter either.

I was afraid of the the older brother of the girl who lived next door.  Eddie was just plain mean and a bit of a bully.  He would often stand in his back yard, yelling "Corny Connie" at me.  There was more than one occasion when I was walking home from school alone that he and some of friends would walk behind me, taunting and teasing me all the way. I was sure he was going to beat me up.

Lastly, I was afraid of my oldest brother.  He's eleven years older than me.  There would be times when as the oldest child at home, he'd be left in charge of the younger kids.  One way he had to keep us in line was by intimidation.  He had a heavy stick that looked like a club.   There were several times that he'd threaten to clobber me with that stick.  Since he was so much bigger than me, I believed him.  This brother is now a kind, gentle man with grandchildren and great grandchildren.  If you met him, you'd never guess that when he was a teenager  his little sister was scared to death of him.


  1. I was afraid of the furnace, of getting one of my spontaneous nose bleeds, of most adults, of poisonous worms my friend claimed would fall out of a certain tree and, of course, of "the A-bomb." Yeah, and John, too. -- Al

  2. The bomb. Terrified it was going to drop and the huge windows in my classroom would explode and shred me to pieces.

    I was not afraid of kidnappers or pediphiles. (Seems like today kids are regularly warned about "bad people" when they venture off alone in a store, or head off outside for too long a stretch.) We didn't have many bad people back then so we could ride bikes all day long and never worry.

    But at night the "boogey man" came out and looked in your window. You would think that would be reason enough for my parents to lock the doors, but they never did.