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Chuck Hinman. IJMA No. 374-S: The Birds and the Bees

It's Just Me Again No. 374-S: The Birds and the Bees For past Chuck Hinman columns, thumb back through Sundays with CM, reading as a Daily Newspaper.
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by Chuck Hinman

Who doesn't snicker and have all kinds of nostalgic memories when the subject of "The Birds and Bees" is mentioned?

I suspect the time period in which you lived makes a great deal of difference in your "street savvy" on this subject.

No one would argue that our children's and grandchildren's generations are much more aware than somebody like me and brother Bob born in the 1920's. We were little boys growing up on our farm between Liberty and Wymore in southeastern Nebraska. We didn't know nuttin' because we didn't know there was something to know anything about. Does that make sense?

We were so naive, it would not have surprised me to find out our parents were sexless. In fact, the whole world (except maybe dogs) was probably sexless.

We weren't bombarded with TV which is probably, by default, the designated teacher of Birds and Bees 101 in our children's and grandchildren's time.

If there is one single way in which our generation had access to more street savvy than more recent generations, it is because we went to country school where the age span ran from five to fourteen years old. That is significant among boys because boys notoriously share knowledge of things learned from the playground. It doesn't make much difference which end of the age span you are on, you are privy to the same illicit information whether you are ready to handle it or not. Who among us old men (I'm 89) is there that can't remember the little booklets floating around the playground with our favorite cartoon characters (Maggie and Jiggs, Tillie the Toiler, or The Gumps) being "naughty"!

Brother Bob, two years older than me, discovered prematurely the little booklet of the times on "The Birds and the Bees" that our Mom intended to use at the appropriate time on us boys. He discovered it just snooping around on the cold-air register in the attic. As I remember, it was sufficiently illustrated to be lurid to a young inquisitive mind.

Bob kept the book secreted away somewhere in the haymow. After he and I had taken plenty of time after school to point, giggle, and enjoy, he stuck the book in the bib of his overalls for the enjoyment and education of all the boys at school. I imagine the teacher wondered what was so interesting that all the boys, ages five to fourteen, gathered in and around the toilet. There was a lot of giggling which should have tipped her off
In due time, after the newness wore off, Bob returned the booklet to the special place in the attic where he found it.

When the time was right, Mom gathered Bob and me mysteriously in the kitchen one afternoon after school saying "she had something she wanted to talk to us about." Oh, oh! What's this all about? I had forgotten about "the book" -- then I saw it on the table!

My face flushed ten different shades of red and my hair literally felt like it was crawling off my head. "I imagine you are wondering what Momma wants to talk to you about," she said nervously, yet motherly,

I couldn't stand the pressure and decided to "fess up" immediately and get it over with while Bob was shushing me frantically. I, without looking directly at her said, "Mooooom, we have already read that book," pointing to the one in her hand. The silence was deafening while Mom's face flashed and she was gulping nervously and gathering her wits. And before she had a chance to continue, I blurted out... "and Bob took it to school and all the boys at school read it too...."

I'm not sure how the meeting ended but I suppose she asked if we had any questions, and there being none, the meeting was quickly adjourned much to everyone's relief.

Anyway, that was the extent of my and my brother's Birds and Bees instruction, good or bad! I suppose it was adequate. When I get to heaven and see Mom, I want to kid her about that time when....-Chuck Hinman

Chuck Hinman's columns regularly appear in Sunday with CM. To read them, use the Reading as a Daily Newspaper feature entering Sunday dates. The next previous Chuck Hinman column is at It's Just Me Again No. 056 : Big Band Days

This story was posted on 2011-05-01 04:28:56
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Chuck Hinman with his son, at Easter 2011

2011-05-01 - Tallgrass Estates, Tulsa, OK - Photo from Chuck Hinman.
Robert Stone, Lebanon, TN, wrote this note to George Kolbenschlag of Columbia, KY, "Chuck sent me a photograph of him and his son Paul at Easter above, after receiving a note from Kolbenschlag about the children Chuck Hinman frequently mentions in his column carried on Sunday with CM and many other outlets around the country." Kolbenschlag had written,, "I really do think he (Chuck Hinman) has a knack for writing. He writes like he talks, conversationally - and that's good."

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