Once a boy

John Draper
Hi, my name's John Draper and these stories are based on my life growing up in the 60s and 70s. If you were a kid in the 60s and 70s, give it a try. Could be neato! Subscribing’s free.
Created 01 Jul 2021
  • Maybe bullies have reasons
    29 Nov 2021 • 3 min read • 3 0
    We moved to a suburb of Seattle when I was little. The area was full of rising young families like ours. Within 20 years, the city would have the highest per-capita income in Washington state, higher ...
  • Being the "artistic kid"
    22 Nov 2021 • 4 min read • 2 1
    I entered grade school with an unfair advantage, like a robot sidekick, all strobes and whirly-gigs and “yes, sir . . . “no, sir.” (God, I would have given my left nut for a robot sidekick when I was ...
  • A trip to the principal's office
    17 Nov 2021 • 9 min read • 1 0
    What would it have been like to have worked with my parents? Kids did that, I assume. Somewhere. Imagine having your dad teach you golf because he loved it and he wanted me to love it yet not blowing ...
  • First kiss
    04 Nov 2021 • 4 min read • 1 0
    By the time I got into sixth grade, all us classmates were utterly familiar with one another. Many of us had been branded. For example, the girl who farted in front of everyone in PE class. The only q...
  • The Clean Plate Club
    20 Oct 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    My mom’s a hell of a cook. In fact, cook doesn’t do it justice, what she can do with food. She’s a chef. She could have had her own cooking show if she wasn’t so busy picking up after me. Combine that...
  • A rogue grownup takes his son kiting
    12 Oct 2021 • 9 min read • 2 0
    From the time I was, oh, six, I could smell rain coming. I can’t put it into words, what it smelled like. Expectancy. There. It smelled like expectancy, something about to burst forth. Kaboom. On this...
  • News flash: X-ray specs don't work
    04 Oct 2021 • 4 min read • 2 1
    Here is how I learned the X-Ray specs they advertise in comic books don’t actually let you see through women’s clothing. I had reached that conclusion the hard way. Story of my life. That is, I had bo...
  • Covid continues
    27 Sep 2021 • < 1 min read • 2 0
    This is a photo of me and my cat, Bottlerocket. I’m the one recovering from Covid. He’s the one looking for a bug to eat. Anyway, I’m still not over Covid. Not contagious, so that’s good. But still co...
  • Covid got me!
    20 Sep 2021 • < 1 min read • 5 4
    Hello, readers. No essay this week. I tested positive for Covid on Wednesday. Today (Sunday) was the first time I’ve done something other than be sick! I’ll be back, though. (On quarantine until Wedne...
  • Death and inheritance
    13 Sep 2021 • 7 min read • 2 2
    It’s winter. 1968. A school day. Breakfast was over and I was supposed to be getting something ready for school. Instead, my spacecraft had just touched down on an ice planet that wasn’t on any of the...
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