The title that I have chosen is based on the long-running television series of the same name that ran on ABC from 1988-1993. It is described in Wikipedia as a comedy-drama, and I think that description describes pretty well the formative years through which all of us progress. Or perhaps it is descriptive of the concept of wondering how we all survived those early years.
In looking through the material that I have accumulated for the first 18 years of my life, I am amazed at how much material there actually is from which to draw. It is also clear that there is much that has been lost for the first five years of my life, mostly due to the loss of parents and grandparents.
On the other hand, it does allow some freedom to record events as I saw or remembered them without being corrected by someone else. I do hope that what I have written comes close to the actual events.
You will meet ordinary people doing extraordinary things that shaped my life and the lives of so many others. I am also reminded that so much of what we do ripples in unforeseen ways through the lives of others. Parents and teachers are the prime examples of this, but all can touch the lives of others without our being the least bit aware of it.
I have chosen to divide the “Wonder Years” by locality as change seems most magnified by changes in environment. I hope that this organization is not confusing, though often there is carry-over of personality from place to place and year to year. However, some things are not so conveniently categorized by place or year.
This monograph is not all-inclusive. Many things have been left on the ‘cutting room floor’, and I have tried to focus on the more prominent events and people that made me who I am or allowed me to be who I am. I realize, though, that my first eighteen years of life were a response to many more events and people than are recorded. I write this for my children and their children, not to glamorize or promote myself, but to give some insight into my life and times.
As usual, my recording of the events will be neither complete nor totally historically accurate. As it turns out, even events from the past sometimes like Maynard Leroy Jones in World War II remain a work in progress.
Craig R. Garrett, MD