I can only resort to movie images, like West Side Story, to access any schema in which to relate to male adolescence in
Or, was it? Actually, it's archetypically similar: boyhood games of hard-fought competition and daring, whether in the street or field; running/cruising the city or town until near collapse; fights, friendships, and so on. Small town or big city, we were still prototypical American boys with much the same influences and responses--no matter the locale--and the essential characteristics of a boyish and, yes, puerile nature.
Did I tell about the time several of us boys were sitting on the eave of the barn behind ole Mrs. Shelton's house, like a line of crows, gazing down at the distant ground wondering what it would be like to jump off the tall roof? Wasn't this a productive way to spend some boyhood morning? We were having a vigorous Heckle-and-Jeckle discussion about this important topic when my feet suddenly slipped quite cleanly out from under me and I hurtled to the ground and made a perfect, uninjured, landing--by accident! Acting totally self-assured and stouthearted, as if it had all been planned, I swaggered and looked up at the others, who were both amazed and aghast at my apparent bravery, and I called out, "What's keeping you little chickens from jumping?" I played it like I was the most courageous boy since ancient
This became part of my local reputation--Lee the Daring--even if it came by accident. I wasn't about to say otherwise.