It was still winter when we moved from Maryland to McIntosh, #248. Back to the north end. I transferred from Wellington school to Lord Selkirk. It was my third grade 6 in one year.

That Christmas I got a Johnny 7 assault weapon. It was the most awesome thing ever invented. It looked like this:

It was called Johnny 7 because it had 7 different weapons in one gun. All of the firing mechanisms were attached to the main rifle assembly. It also featured a bipod that provided stability for the various rockets and grenade. The stock could be removed to shorten the weapon while in the machine gun mode. When fully assembled, it was over three feet long, and weighed about four pounds. Here is what it had:

A grenade launcher, located on top of the main body, above the pistol grip. The launcher extended upwards, and a spring-loaded grenade could be launched by depressing a button on the side of the rifle.

There was a red armor piercing missile, fired from a launcher located on the right of the body of the gun. The firing button was underneath the launcher.

Also there was an armor piercing shell and anti-bunker missile. Two large green shells were fired from the front of the rifle directly above the barrel. The firing button was on the left side of the rifle.

Of course there was a regular repeating rifle. It had a magazine with twelve white bullets that fed into the chamber by a spring-loaded bolt, one at a time.

There was a machine gun. Just pull the lever back towards the stock, press the release button and a “rat-tat-tat” machine gun noise rattled out.

And there was a cap firing pistol that could be removed from the gun. The pistol inserted from the bottom to provide the rifle grip. You could fill it with caps for authentic firing sounds.

How awesome is that?

The Angel Monster got a robot that looked something like this, but not quite as fancy:

I don’t remember what the Evil Sister got, but she must have got something, probably a doll or some other lame thing that didn’t do anything.

I’m not sure where the money came from to buy such fancy Christmas presents. Perhaps it was sympathy money from mother’s French side of the family. Although they weren’t rich, by any means, they seemed to have a little more to work with than the other side of the family. Or maybe it came from her father, Charlie Wong, who certainly was rich, though his Chinese baby bride wife, Gim Toy, kept him mostly estranged from the ‘white’ family. And since father was just recently released from the sanitarium, having had his tuberculosis cured, he wouldn’t have had any kind of job for a while. Mother worked sometimes. She had experience as a waitress from working in Charlie Wong’s restaurants.

I think we got cheap rent at McIntosh. Part of the deal was father doing renovations on the house to offset rent. Also, we took in a couple of borders. The two Jims. I’ll tell you about them later.

I remember clearly, the first day going to grade six at Lord Selkirk. I went alone. The elementary grades were in one building and the junior high had it’s own building on the other side of the school yard. The Evil Sister went to that one and left me to fend for myself. I stood in the dark hallway, that first day, knocked on the heavy oak classroom door, that was about twenty feet high. I waited. The door opened and a tall thin young teacher with short cropped blonde hair, stood looking down at me. I handed him my papers and he let me pass into the classroom.

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