Friday, October 5, 2012

A Blast From My Past

Yesterday I excitedly opened a brown package that arrived in the mail.  Inside was a book that I ordered last week on Amazon.  In preparation for my Mom’s visit last week I had been unpacking some boxes, and came across my childhood book collection, or at least the portion that I have in my possession.  Having two brothers many of the books that I read as a child and considered part of the Morrell library belonged to my brothers, so many a familiar book is now in their possession.  Being a bookworm I read every book in our house multiple times.  From “The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes” to Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”, if it was made of paper and didn't have legs to run away, it found its way into my grubby little hands.  And I mean that literally – when I was young I refused to bathe more than every other day, and I had quite petite hands, even for a child. 

As I was reminiscing and leafing through old classics I read and reread as a boy, I noticed that one of my favorite books, one that had actually been my own and not my brothers’, was missing.  I couldn't remember the name of it, but it was one of those books where you make decisions throughout the book which leads to glory or destruction, depending on your choice.  The original and best known series of this type was called “Choose Your Own Adventure”, but when I did a web search for “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, I was unsuccessful at finding this favorite of mine.  I know because although I couldn't remember the title, I do remember that this particular book had a spaceship with a large grey spider on the cover.

I told my mom about this and she called my brother Steve, who relayed that it was probably a “Which Way Book” (apparently he had tried to track one down as well, and got that information from a librarian), so I put that into my search and there it was: “Space Raiders and the Planet of Doom”.  I still remember getting that book and reading it in the gym when I was in the fourth grade.  I made it through several pages before it was time to go to class, and couldn’t wait to get home to finish the story.  I still remember landing the spaceship on the planet, covered with such a thick fog that there was no telling what was below, or if a landing was even possible!

So this week I have enjoyed going back through the book and choosing my way along the various story lines again.  I think I’m doing a better job this time around making choices that don’t end in my death.  Perhaps somewhere subconsciously I remember to not eat the giant mushrooms.  Or maybe I’m just a lot better at making good decisions at 37 than I was at 9.  Whatever the case, it was totally worth the seven bucks it cost me to purchase this little piece of my childhood!