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Reliving McDuffie memories

As I get older, I often remember my boyhood and what a wonderful time I had playing with my brother, sisters and friends.

I had so much fun and often tell friends of mine today that I'd go back to those days tomorrow, if I could. Through the years, I can remember distinctly older people saying what fun they had in the "good old days." I didn't quite understand what they really meant back then, but I sure do now, since I'm nearing the senior-citizen age.

A few of my childhood memories came rushing back to me last Tuesday night after we put another edition of the newspaper to bed. I shared a couple of those memories with my co-worker, Lynn Davidson.

Afterwards, I thought I'd write a column about other childhood memories.

I lived in North Augusta, S.C., until the second grade, when my Dad, the late Bobby L. Hobbs, a long-time breadman, was transferred to Thomson. Along with my parents, my brother and three sisters, we began making a new home here.

We settled in a small, three bedroom-one bath house on Forrest Clary Drive, where we remained until three of us graduated from Thomson High School. As kids, we were very thankful because there were a lot of other kids in the neighborhood to play with - especially boys. My brother, Bobby, and I enjoyed that a lot, because we liked playing baseball, wrestling and playing Army out in the woods.

A big vacant lot separated the little white house we lived in and a green one next door. It made for a perfect baseball field. We made a lot of friends and we all had a great time playing together. Our parents also knew each other.

Those were the good old days.

When we played baseball, we pretended to take on the names of some of the old players with the Atlanta Braves. I often pretended to be Hank Aaron, because he was, and still is, my greatest sports hero and still the man I regard as being the real homerun king. My brother liked playing Joe Torre - that's right, Joe Torre, former manager of the New York Yankees and now manager of the Los Angles Dodgers.

Several of the friends who played baseball with us included Gayland and Mike Cook, Barney Johnson, Andy and Joe Bolander, as well as others.

We also played football sometimes - the version without helmets and pads. It helped make us tough, we thought. Today, I contend my arthritis is a result of those times.

We'd also go camping and fishing together when we got older. Again, my childhood was a great one.

Those really were the good old days!

Web posted on Thursday, April 16, 2009

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