Danny, Peter, and I discovered different interests as school progressed. What little time we could spend together during recess was cut when we each decided to spend that time participating in different activities.
Peter discovered his natural athletic skills. As long as the weather cooperated, he would join the other boys in a game of baseball, basketball, or soccer. Occasionally, enough boys would get together to play kick ball, and they would often argue about how the rules for tagging somebody out at a base.
I chose to play Charlies Angels with some of the girls in my class. The girls always argued over who got to be Jill and Kelley—until Jenny would finally give in and agree to be Sabrina. Sometimes I got to play the criminal they would arrest, but I was usually stuck playing Bosley, the pudgy, middle-aged office manager that spoke with a slight lisp.
Danny, on the other hand, chose to spend a lot of time alone during recess. He seemed pretty content playing on the swings or monkey bars. On the days I was a criminal running away from the private detectives, I would often see my friend digging in the dirt like he was searching for a treasure.
I had my first real encounters with a bully during those early first years of school. For some reason, Justin decided that I was an easy target for his taunting. Whenever he teased me about being one of the girls, one of the tough Angels I played with would come to my rescue and arrest him for being ugly. I never considered his taunting as a problem at the time, but it seemed more like a fun part of the game.
Danny, Peter, and I still enjoyed getting together for Cub Scouts every Tuesday after school. Danny’s mother was our den mother, and she always had fun activities for us. We did wood carvings, leather engraving, basket weaving, and many other crafts. We also had a bucket the boys would pass around each week to determine who brought treats to share after every scouting session.
While I enjoyed the small weekly sessions I spent with my scout den each week, I rarely enjoyed the large pack meetings. The wheels fell of my car in the Pinewood Derby, and the rocket I built got stuck on the racing wires. The older boys seemed to enjoy watching me fail at each of the competitions.
We had a pack meeting in October that was a little different than most. The leaders decided we would have a cake decorating contest. My father and I piled several carefully carved pieces of cake on top of each other and then covered it with a delicious black frosting to build the best design of the evening—a Darth Vader. Finally, I had won first place at a Cub Scout competition.
The crowd was impressed with my cake decorating skills. Many of the mothers asked to take pictures of me with my cake, and the boys my age thought it was cool. Many of the older boys, however, didn’t act very impressed.
“Of course he would win a contest meant for girls,” one of them said just before leaving the room.