Comic Books, Cigars and Sex Education

As first grade came and went, I survived school and actually kind of liked it. At the end of second grade and the beginning of third grade Charles, J. W. & Rickey moved into Mr. Joe Parrish’s house. Every afternoon after school, we were bored and tired of being cooped up. Since we lived off Broad St. we had about a mile hike everyday, and it carried us through downtown Headland. As we hit Church St., just before the park square, across the street from The Thrift Store, there it was; Holley’s Drug Store.Sometimes we would have enough change to buy a soda. My favorite was a lemon sour. Carbonated water, lemon juice, and salt; what could be better for a growing boy than that? Really, buying a coke was just a cover, so that we could read comics at the magazine rack. After reading about Spot run, and Dick and Jane do some crazy thing over and over again, we were ready for a good story. And we were never disappointed. Super Man, Batman and Robin, Dick Tracy, The Green Lantern, and The Flash kept us entertained for several days a week. By the end of the month, we had read all the good comics and had to read Archie and Jughead, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. Then Mighty Mouse would always come in at the last minute to save the day. The first of the month would always bring in a fresh batch. The Holly’s were good patient people. They never once complained about us being there.After we tired of reading those wonderful literary masterpieces, we would head out the door. As soon as we walked out, the Thrift Store was directly in sight. I would always look to see if a crowd was in front of the store. It would take me a while to realize that the blacks only gathered there on Saturdays. Then there would be a big enough crowd to make a Tarzan movie. To get to the service station by the Headland National Bank, we had to go through the town square. It was lined with big magnificent oaks that were already old in 1958, their canopy met and looked like a medieval cathedral ceiling. Gave you a warm and secure feeling. The square was a wonderland, with the walkways meeting in the middle and bushes planted all around. The war memorial always amazed me. In 1958 the soldier still had the rifle in his hand. I guess he never did throw that grenade.Anyway, back at the service station, some of us would stay outside and a couple would go inside. When they caught the attendant not looking, they would palm a pack of cigarettes. If they were lucky, sometimes they could get a box of Swisher Sweet cigars. Man!, those were some great cigars. After leaving there Wayne, J. W., Benny, Charles, Rickey, Walter and I would cut through the alley and hit Forrest Street. There was a garage there that had a pin up calendar in the office. We could see it through the window. We were so young that we did not know what we were looking at, but we all seemed to like what we saw pretty well. The mechanic would pick up a rock and throw it at us and we would run and laugh, happy that it was Charles that was hit and not us.At the end of Forrest St. at the intersection with Broad St. was a line of wooden warehouses. They were all locked up(we checked), but they were built up off the ground, resting on brick pillars. The dirt was dug out a foot or so below grade. We could almost stand up under the buildings, and there was enough debris laying around that we could build walls around us. We were hidden from the world. Safe in that cocoon, Wayne and J. W., being the oldest, educated us on the finer points of treating women like ladies. We heard how to pick up girls, how to treat them, what to say to them. Kind of ironic to have all this knowledge and being so afraid of them, that you could not use it. And at 8 years old, for Pete’s sake.All the while we were puffing on those cigars. There was so much smoke pouring out from those buildings, I am surprised that the fire department did not show up. I am not sure if all that smoke came from the cigars, because we all thought that we were pretty hot. We learned a lot about girls (being very generous here), but it was all a failure. None of us knew it at that point in time. That did not matter, as we smoked, talked dirty, laughed and bragged. Quite a sex ed. class.

Comic Books, Cigars and Sex Education

Charles Sims

Cowarts, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

Quite a sex ed class.

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