I was my mom and dad’s only child. My dad was active duty with the US Army. For those unfamiliar with that term, it means my father’s full-time career was the military. For the first few years of my life I didn’t live in any one place very long, because my dad would be assigned to different posts (bases) around the United States. This is a normal part of life for military families. I lost my mother to cancer when I was 5. The memories I have of her are sweet and kind, but unfortunately we just didn’t get to

I had attended a fairly strict grammar school in the early 1970s where the cane was used on occasions. Somehow I managed to avoid getting it, but some of my friends were caned and I saw evidence in the changing rooms after PE or swimming and frankly it aroused feelings of both fear and jealousy, and I know I was not alone. Like many boys the cane and the very thought of receiving it held us in awe. However, after leaving the sixth form in 1975 I definitely had a sense of regret that I had never paid a visit