“Swimming Naked” is cast in a time when it was fun to be a kid. A time when the two main rules were: Do your chores, and get your fanny home when the street lights come on. A time when there were no organize sports. Baseball, football, or what ever were pick-up games played on a vacant lot or side yard somewhere in town, with no adult intervention. A time when toy guns were not frowned upon, as make believe cowboys and Indians acted out skirmishes down the block or in ones backyard. A time when make believe Marines, or Army troops, fought the Germans and Japanese re-enacting battles of World War II. A time when your dog was a companion tagging along where ever you went, and everyone in town knew your name as well as your dog’s.
“Swimming Naked” is a time of special memories. The old home town. The neighborhood, and the house lived in that was our special place in the world. Who can forget that secret place where we found solace when things weren’t going so well. How about those good times enjoyed with relatives, friends, neighbors, and playmates. The puppies, kittens, critters of all kinds that brought joy, and yes, sadness to our young lives. There are so many nuances of life that have brought us to where we are today. It’s time to enjoy those memories.
“Swimming Naked” takes place during the early forties when our country was at war on two fronts, World War II. The story, and story lines are based on my life from age nine to twelve when I lived with my paternal grandparents in Sibley, a small town in northwest Iowa, following the death of my mother from cancer at age twenty-nine.
Here and there I have evoked author privilege, adding a bit of embellishment where needed. You might term this book as faction, a lot of fact and a bit of fiction. Though it began in a time of grief it developed into, perhaps, one of the happiest and most memorable periods of my life. The memories are special, and afford me great comfort and joy when I look back to those years of innocent childhood.
The characters are real, but some of the names may be fictitious, or partially fictitious. For with declining years also comes declining memory. Rest assured though, the names that I recall are true and factual, and I delight in including them in the following text. For “Swimming Naked” is not an exposé, but rather a testimonial to the wonderful people sharing a small boy’s life during a tragic time. Few remain, but those who do and those who are gone, still occupy this old man’s young heart.