I was born Roland James Leblond, jr. at 10:48 AM, on March 25, 1965 in Lewiston, Maine. Dad got a parking ticket while I was being born, this was just the first of many things he would have to pay for because of me, hopefully there were more good than bad. As I understand it, I was called “little Jack” after my grandfather from the beginning. My Grandfather was called Jack, although his name was Roland Donat Leblond. What can I say – we’re French. My name officially became Jack James Leblond on October 20, 1970. I’m sure it’s not at all related, but it was around that time that I had my tonsils removed. I remember my School bus driver saying he was looking forward to my having to be quiet for a few days afterwards.
We lived at a couple different places while I was small. We lived in an apartment for a while and Mom says I just about gave her a heart attack one day when I decided it would be fun to play hide and seek with her, the problem was that I didn’t tell her we were playing. Sorry Mom. Later, we lived at a place that both Mom and Dad say had grass growing up through the kitchen floor. I don’t think we were there long, mom said she was worried about snakes getting in. Plus, it made a mess when Dad mowed the floor. ;-D
I’m not sure which was first, but I have vague memories of a few places we lived when I was very young. We rented an apartment (or something like it) in the upstairs of a farm house. They had fruit orchards and though I have no idea why, I remember making hobo stew with a group of boys in front of the house. This is also when my parents bought our first color TV; a 27 inch, Sylvania console…in color. I can only imagine it must have cost them an arm and a leg for those three or four color channels. I remember that it took (what felt) like hours in the appliance store while they picked it out. I suspect the wait was made worse for me because there was a McDonald’s right next door and I had to look at those golden arches through the window while we were while Mom and Dad shopped. Whatever they paid for it, we got our money’s worth. That TV lasted at least 20 years, and didn’t die until it was mine while I was stationed in Pearl Harbor (more on that later) in the 1990s. It was also while we lived here that I thought it would be fun to jump off a newly constructed hay-wagon and snagged my arm on the corner, tearing a nice gash in my arm. I had several stitches from that and still have an interesting scar.
Later, we also lived in a trailer that was parked on my grandparents’ farm. Back then they were still called trailers and not mobile homes. I remember lots of things from this place, so I must have been a little older. This is where we lived when Jessica, my sister, was born. I remember that this was mostly a fun place. My mother’s brothers and sisters were still in school and living in my grandparents’ house, so I was able to see them every day. I worked on puzzles with my aunts, played catch with uncles. We would go sledding in the winter and get pulled up the hill by the snowmobiles, we played in the rain, climbed trees and generally had a good time. One bad thing I remember was my uncle Ralph, who is only a few years older than me, would like to sit on my chest until I said “uncle’. He did that a lot over the years. He had fun, but I never liked it much. Another not-so-fond memory is the morning after sleeping at my grandparents’ house when I accidentally brushed my teeth with my Grandfather’s Bril Creme (what guys used to put in their hair) instead of toothpaste – yuck.
To be continued…