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A Shout From The Attic: On Boyhood

...There was no conversation in my childhood home. Only short interrogations and the briefest of answers...

Ronnie Bray introduces a series of chapters on his boyhood which will appear in the forthcoming weeks.

These wild boys, properly guided and directed,
will make the greatest men who have ever
lived upon this earth. - Brigham Young


Somehow, we are expected to be good children when we have had no training to be anything but what we are, instinct driven bundles of needs and squawks.

I did not enjoy childhood except for some rare moments. Everything that happened has served to make me what I have become, for each of us is the sum total of our constitution, experience, education, and all the millions of impressions that bombard our senses from before birth to wherever any of us is right now.

The truth is that there was probably never a single thought or brief moment that whether for good or ill didn't make some significant contribution to making us what we are today and that revisiting them and rethinking them through our present wisdom yields a more abundant harvest than the bitter tears they brought or the tremblings of nameless fears or even the rippling of soft laughter in our better times. It's all there, and you just have to remember it and tell what you didn't know then, what it was all about and what it really meant.

There was no conversation in my childhood home. Only short interrogations and the briefest of answers. Everything else went on inside a head that was becoming fuller and fuller of strange impressions and conclusions.

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