My maternal grandpa died in 1982 when I was 12 years old. His name was Matthew Nichols, and his passing was the first significant loss of my life.
He never graduated high school and was a self-taught electrician by trade, yet there were several invaluable life lessons that I learned from him.
One such lesson occurred when I was in the first grade at Hawthorne Elementary School in Wilingboro, New Jersey.
One day during recess I got in big trouble because my two best friends decided it would be funny to go behind the school and pee on the building.
I went along and did just as they did.
Our six-year old minds thought it was hysterically funny, until one of the recess aides caught us. Not only was I banned from outdoor recess for two weeks, I was roundly and soundly spanked when I got home from school by my parents – strong adherents of corporal punishment. [Read more...]