Tell me about your scariest experience as a child
It didn’t take even a second to pull up my scariest memory, but I took time trying to recall others that might be more intense. I recalled being about ten years old, in fourth grade, going to the doctor for bad stomach pains, going straight from there to the hospital, and getting an appendectomy. I laid in a strange hospital for three days, mostly alone, not able to stand up, and being relieved when finally discharged to go home. I also recalled the few spankings my father administered, all well-deserved of course, but that short time between being told you’re getting one and it being over is well-etched in my memory. Finally, like the curious little boys and girls that we all are, when I was about four years old, the equally young girl next door and I, well, showed each other what made us male and female. We were caught in the act, my mother angrier at me than I had ever seen, and I spent the next two hours waiting in my bedroom, scared out of my mind, for my father to get home. When he arrived, I was called to dinner and nothing was ever said about it. Total relief and disbelief! But the scariest experience, by far, was getting lost at the county fair.
After a great day of rides and games, it was time to leave the fair and go home. Instead of following my parents, I decided I knew how to get back to the station wagon and turned the wrong way. At that age, my Mom and Dad had five children, two in diapers, and they’re not to blame for not noticing I was gone before I was out of sight. I was expected to follow and I didn’t. When I realized that I was lost, my family nowhere to be seen, panic immediately set in. As best as I remember, I just started bawling and someone took me somewhere and called out my parent’s names over a loudspeaker to let them know where they could find their lost child. While it seemed to last forever, my parents claimed me and as we walked to the car, I was glued to my mother’s hip.