I was ten the day my father came home from work and called us all together for a very solemn jubilation. He was about to burn the mortgage to his house and announced with great pride, that for the first time in his adult life, he was totally free from debt. He did not own a credit card. His car was paid for and it was only three years old, and he owned a second automobile that he had paid cash for: Now our home was paid for, free and clear of any encumbrance. They would join the Moose Lodge, sort of a working man’s country club, and we could use the skeet range there and the swimming pool. His kids wouldn’t have to swim with all the colored kids at the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1lace w:st="on">Jackson</st1lace></st1:City> municipal pool any more. The extra money from the National Guard would more than cover the initiation fees and the annual dues. There would be more money for family camping trips and we might even take a trip to the <st1lace w:st="on"><st1laceName w:st="on">Smoky</st1laceName> <st1laceType w:st="on">Mountains</st1laceType></st1lace>. I learned to drive an automobile that year. My father would let me drive on all the roads around our house in his old 61 Mercury and occasionally, even out on the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Old Medina Road</st1:address></st1:Street>, all the way to the store in <st1lace w:st="on">Hicksville</st1lace> or Oak Field. Opening day of squirrel season was the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1lace w:st="on">high point</st1lace></st1:City> of my year. My sister had broken my .22 rifle’s stock but I had saved enough money to buy a .410 shotgun from Mr. Ralph, the bus driver that sang songs about his dash-hound while he drove us to <st1lace w:st="on"><st1laceName w:st="on">Oak</st1laceName> <st1laceType w:st="on">Field</st1laceType> <st1laceType w:st="on">School</st1laceType></st1lace> every morning. Our family arsenal consisted of a 20 gauge Ted Williams pump shotgun, a Westernfield .22 semi-auto with a ten shot clip, my .410 bolt-action single-shot Mossberg, and this was the year that we bought “The deer rifle”, a .44 magnum Marlin Lever action. I got to keep them in my room in a wooden gun-rack built by my Papaw. My father sold his 1911 Remington Rand and all the boxes of ammunition he had collected from the National Guard, to my Uncle Billy. It was just too much temptation to have it lying around when you have a ten year old boy that loves to shoot. This was the best year of my life. Swimming at the Moose Lodge all summer, shooting snakes in the pond, going camping in the Smoky Mountains and encountering real bears, trotline fishing up at Brody’s landing, meeting Elmer J. “Pop” Townsend and his dog “Ferocious”, learning to drive, getting to go deer hunting with the grown-ups; I got my first electric guitar that year, my Granny co-signed a bank loan for me to borrow the $200.00 it cost and I paid it back with money earned mowing lawns at $45.00 per month. This was the year that my parents decided to sell our house in Oakfield and build a new one near Beech Bluff, where my father had grown up as a boy. The American Dream was coming true.