I had a very happy, innocent childhood. Up to the 6th grade, age 11. When my family suddenly packed up and moved to a new town. And then everything started to spin out of control.
For whatever reason, today I happened to be thinking about one particular moment. It was the summer of 1970. I was 13 years old. And I traveled back to my childhood hometown — High Bridge, New Jersey — to visit with my best childhood pal, Harry Drew Joffman. And we were hanging out in front of his house on Church Street, reading our Mad magazines and Spiderman comic books, and trading our baseball cards. When Vallerie Lizzy showed up.
Two years ago, Vallerie Lizzy had been this yucky, mousey 6th grader with glasses and cooties. But now, two years later as we were about to enter our freshman year of high school, Vallerie is wearing this cool, little cotton halter-top that accents that she’s sprouted breasts. And she’s wearing these skin-tight, bluejean hot-pants that accents the V of her crotch. And her bare long arms and long legs are tanned a golden brown. And she was kind of smirking at me, like, “I’m not a little girl anymore. I got it going, dude!” She had her hand on her hip, like, “I got the power now!” And she did.
Suddenly, my Spiderman comic books were no longer as interesting as they had once been. And of course I was fascinated by Vallerie’s budding beauty. But, sadly, I also knew: It’s not going to be so innocent from here on in. It was that moment when you first realize that you’re no longer a little boy, but that you’re heading into something else. Something new and mysterious. And it could be trouble.