San Francisco to Phoenix years: uprootings & re-rootings

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San Francisco to Phoenix years: uprootings & re-rootings
by James Edward David Cline

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One of my fondest memories of pre-school days is of my father buying an airplane model made of hardwood, brown in color, resembling a 2-engine prop airliner, and gluing it together for me, in his basement workshop. Shaping things to my mental images into tinkertoys, erector set, and especially modelling clay, allowed me to have some objects of my own design in my play world. [PS: WWII was in full rage in those years and the focus on machine-asisted strife to survive no doubt affected me.]

Then when I was about 9 yrs old, in the Emporium in San Francisco shopping one day I bought, along with then-favorite tiny lead model tanks, a three-knife X-acto wood carving knife set, and a kit consisting of a rectangular block of balsa about 4 inches long, and some thin sheets of balsa wood, each with the outline of fighter plane fuselage and wings printed on them. Carving out the outline of the airplane parts, rounding them off appropriately, gluing them together, and I had made a model plane myself. I felt a sense of great achievement. Soon I was drawing my own airplane designs of balsa wood, carving them into products of my own imagination, gluing and painting them to my own designs. At other times I did my best to accurately portray some real aircraft, doing so well. I continued making such models of airplanes, spaceships, and pistols of balsa wood until I went to college, making hundreds of them. These were my favorite creations.

[--- Handcrafting models is a uniquely human endeavor, making intermediate outpicturing of my inner mental models of my world, testrun images of potential realities to be.

[PS: see ChildhoodModels ]


Back living in an apartment in the desert again, the lawn was periodically watered by flooding to a depth of several inches. One time a baby gopher surfaced and I attempted to nurse it with milk in an eye dropper. After several days of the pitiful creature taking little milk, and biting me once, it died. Sometimes no matter how hard one tried, a little one would not make it.


I had a wonderful girlfriend named EarlLynne. We experimented with such things as attempting to make plastic out of dissolving cigarette package wrappers in water, but with litle sucess. We had a way of calling to each other, we had a "wolf call", which identified each other from afar. But now I was being uprooted again forever leaving my friends, and I watched out of the airplane window to the last, but she never came to see me off, although many of the other neighbor kids did come to wave goodby. Losing my 12 year old girl friend was a very special grief, as the world slid away from me forever once again.

Copyright © 1995 James Edward David Cline