After returning to the mainland from Guam, my father purchased some land in a rural area near where his sister and other family members lived. It was just a plot of land at first, and we spent a year or so getting it ready for actual living, and then my folks proudly announced that we were moving up in the world, soon to be living in the land of the trailer park.

We children were thrilled beyond measure.

The trailer was a single-wide, with three bedrooms as I recall, and into that trailer we packed two parents and six kids. At the same time my father and “the boys” began work on an A-frame what was intended to be our ultimate home.

It takes a while to build a house on your spare time, even with the reluctant and spiteful help of your teenage sons. But progress was made.

In the meantime, my brothers and I were discovering that there were, in fact, benefits to living free and wild in the country. Among those was the sudden lifting of the BB gun ban, a ban that had been in effect since our oldest brother had been caught pumping pellets from his pellet gun into a neighbor’s shed.

Now, no more ban on BB guns.

Thus began the BB gun wars. The rules were simple. If you got hit with a BB in a critical spot, you were dead. If you cried about getting hit, you were a baby. If you told mom or dad, you were really dead.

We did have enough sense to wear sunglasses.

I think.


Those were fun times though. There’s not much that gets your adrenaline pumping like diving for cover as dangerous projectiles pepper the underbrush around you and bounce off your heavy clothes.

It was the doctor who was investigating the headaches and pain in my left ear who found the BB, by the way.

“No, mom, I have no idea how a BB got in there.”