The Big Tree

PlaygroundJet

Our new house was built in 1968. We would often drive to the job site and check on the progress. Once I used leftover mortar and some bricks to build a small wall that I was convinced would last forever. It was gone the following day. We moved into the house in the fall. It was just before my 5th birthday.

The neighborhood was entirely new, an ongoing development with the recognizably postwar name of Green Valley. I soon met a couple of other boys who had just moved into their family’s newly built houses. We would walk to nearby houses still under construction and watch the workers. We offered to “help” them and sometimes they would accept our offers, sending us on made-up errands to retrieve a left-handed screwdriver and the like. One carpenter taught us to drive nails. I missed the nail and innocently said “darn” or something…

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