Hard Times

Money did not come easy in the late 1940s, at least not in my family and I often collected old newspapers and pop bottles to make a few pennies. Once I got 25 pennies, I would buy one of the outdoor magazines and read about exotic hunts all over the world. My bucket list consisted of a diagram of my future game room as I planned where each trophy would be hung. This changed virtually every day as my dreams expanded. I made so many lists it was a rare animal I could not recognize and plan where it was to be displayed.

From the beginning, mapping of all my dreamt-about trophies, I expanded to all kinds of lists — future guns I would have, the future places I would live and future adventures I would experience. All of these were bucket lists even though I did not know it at the time. Shortly thereafter we moved from the housing project for returning veterans to a real house where I could have my own bedroom. “This is a great place to hang maps of all the places I would soon hunt around the world,” I thought.

I planned to live by myself in some forest area and I remember drawings of myself, levergun in hand, a loyal malamute by my side and a Jeep parked in the background. I never did get the Jeep and I was still a teenager when a young girl — the future Diamond Dot — changed my plans for living a solitary life.