A slice of life from the 1950s.
I’m 11. It’s a drizzly summer day in West Haven, Connecticut. The neighborhood kids are wondering what we can do on such a dreary day. A pile of logs in the field between Joanie and Karen’s old house and new house gives someone an idea. “Let’s build a cabin.”
Joanie picks up one end of a log and I pick up the other end. Immediately we are beset by a swarm of insects, biting insects, stinging insects.
“Run!” someone yells, and everyone else runs, while I’m trying to swat the stingers away, to scrape them off. There are too many, they just keep coming back for the attack. Finally, I run to the end of the field, and the dampness and air brushing my body as I run wipes the yellowjackets away. But stings are painful.
“Put mud on them,” I’m advised. “It will pull out the stinger.” So I slather mud over my painful arms and legs.
When I get home, my mother threatens to hose down my mud-caked body, but lets me take a shower instead. Four scar, one on each arm and leg, remain for decades. A dermatologist diagnoses the spots.
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