1966 – Jamestown Road, Fayetteville, North Carolina

Google wasn’t exact on this street address, but this is the house; I’m sure of it. I remember the long driveway and where I was standing when my father got out of the black military car that brought him home after a year in Vietnam. This is the only house on the street with the driveway on the right; it has to be the one. I remember the big front yard. When I came home from school one day devastated because I couldn’t jump high or broad for the president’s fitness award my dad built a series of 7 jumps -they could be raised or lowered, on pegs- and arranged them around the yard to create a course for me. Not only did I learn to jump high and far but my front yard became the neighborhood destination for all the kids.
There was a pine forest in the backyard with a carpet of fragrant needles so thick they would spring when you stepped on them. You could lift them from underneath and make little pine-needle igloos to hide out in. My next door neighbor was a nice lady who would invite me over to play in her garden; it was dense and colorful and buzzing with hummingbirds.
This was the last house of my absolute youth. After this we would move to the DC area and my interests would move indoors.

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