Personally Yours
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Personally Yours

All Quiet on the Backyard Front

The Record, February 28, 1963

Out in the backyard things are quieter these days. The sound of Civil War artillery has ceased. Armed attacks against the Nazis are no more,

Instead, there are the more ordered sounds of serious young men at work on manual of arms’ exercise. The silence is broken by short orders barked by whoever is top sergeant at the moment and by giggles when confusion reigns,

The boys learned how to go through these paces about a month ago from the Big Boss who sternly taught them rifle drill and a no-nonsense attitude.

There are, however, still some cut -ups who like nothing better than marching into a wall if not otherwise ordered.

Headquarters is the old fort, remodelled again for the umpteenth time and now boasting a guard rail on the roof which is hung with huge banners proclaiming the fort to be the headquarters of the “Space Club.”

An old ladder is attached as a high look-out post and niches have been made to hold flags in the proscribed manner.

There’s a new, hinged door in one side, a trap door on the roof (escape hatch?), and vast provisions are stored inside.

The boys are wearing all the castoff uniforms they could scrounge up and have a distinctly nautical air. They are much prone to a saluting.

In fact they are so polite to each other they probably aren’t the same boys.

The club consists, in addition to Scotty, Terry and David, of their friend Billy. Other boys who stop by to see what’s up, are asked to participate.

Each member has a specially written certificate made up on some old forms they found at the RECORD office which smack of authenticity.

In addition to the cessation of hostilities (i.e. noise) we parents are reaping additional benefits,

While in the past I could get nowhere by bawling out to them to PLEASE CLEAN UP THAT MESS AROUND THE HOUSET — I now get excellent results by politely ordering them to “swab the decks” and get the place “shipshape”.

And instead of a loud moan as an answer, I receive a snappy salute. The boy in question pauses expectantly, so I return the salute as smartly as possible. Whereupon I am rewarded by a big grin followed by the cheerful performance of the assigned duty.

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