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Word Count: 1,307
Reflections on Two Worlds Growing up in Oakland during the sixties seemed to be a normal way of life We would fall asleep to gunshots and to the steady screams of the ambulances like a confederate war cry There was the familiar roar of Navy helicopters transporting wounded soldiers from hospital ships or Travis AFB to Oak Knoll hospital so that people would not know how many mangled bodies were coming out of Viet Nam I never realized the horrors of our neighborhood until my family moved My parents finally removed us from the concrete jungle we once lived to the beautiful Alameda waterfront that became my home until I entered the service to avoid being drafted After moving from Oakland to a one family home in Alameda the differences were quite apparent They truly were two different neighborhoods in two different worlds Once settled into our new house my brother and I began exploring Our first stop was the tennis court down the street where I was to meet my future soul mate Trees providing a natural windbreak surrounded the court On the backside of the court was a small park with more trees and a basketball court We had a boat berthed in our backyard which my brother and I would sail on the bay when we were not on the tennis court Even though our ecological niche had changed we were reminded daily of our old world with the violent noise of Navy jet engines being tested When school started that was when the real differences started to show Besides the fact that we had safe hallways we each had our own desk space textbooks with no missing pages and a clean graffiti free chalkboard Teachers would actually solicit questions from the students on the material being covered One of my best memories is from science class where we repeated Archimedes experiments by making our own crude instruments to measure
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