Memories: I remember so much from my childhood.
As I get older with every passing day, I tend to think back on those days -- a time less hectic-paced than the world is today.
My childhood was a good one.
I was never lonely for playmates. After all, I had a brother and three sisters and lots of friends -- many of whom lived within walking distance of where I grew up at on Forrest Clary Drive here in Thomson.
As a boy and later a teenager, I enjoyed playing sports, such as baseball and shooting hoops. I liked other outdoors things, too, such as racing bicycles around the little white house we lived for so many years. I also enjoyed participating in wrestling matches with friends, too.
Some of the friends we played with growing up here included Andy Bolander, Joe Bolander, Gaylan and Mike Cook, Barney Johnson, Perry "P.D."Adams, Darwin Osborne and others.
They were great buds. Like me and my brother, all of them still live in the Thomson area. Joe died a few years ago - a loss that's still hard to believe.
Camping trips with my twin brother, Bobby, and close friends were equally fun, too.
I remember going to what we referred to back then as the backwaters (Clarks Hill Lake) in McDuffie County to camp. That was before the roads were paved and real camping sites established around the water at Big Hart Campground.
It also was before we had a Walmart in Thomson.
We got our food supplies from the old Winn-Dixie, which back then was located on Jackson Street. We purchased our bait supplies from Shine Russell's store, which was located near the turnoff to Big Hart Campground.
What a good time we all had as teenagers.
When we camped out, we fished. Since we didn't have a boat, we fished straight from the banks. And believe it or not, we caught fish.
I remember cleaning the fish and then cooking them out over a campfire. We'd also peel fresh potatoes and cut them up into French fries. Using a skillet and some grease, we fried those up to go with the fish.
Um, they were delicious!
We never had any fish or French fries leftover that I can remember.
Those were great times -- no doubt about it.
Another fond memory from my childhood was racing bicycles with my brother and my middle sister, Teresa, a veteran bus driver of nearly 20 years with the McDuffie County Board of Education.
Teresa gave me a run for my money, so to speak.
She was feisty and still is, I might add.
Every once in a while, Teresa even beat me racing bicycles.
I guess we got our love from racing bikes from our Daddy, who loved listening to NASCAR races live on the radio when he was home on Sundays during the race season.