Horatio writes: Lets kick this beauty off with a story of discovery that showcases the core issue that faced all of us -- the top shelf of the newstand was both high and embarrassingly in plain view. The fight to get hold of adequate materials often depended on acts of God.
Submitted by S. Rye, New York, New York:
I can pinpoint the precise second when my adolescence began. I grew up in the suburbs of Westchester, New York and spent a major part of my youth marauding around, finding the rare green areas that existed between houses – you know the kind of glade with grass uncut or heavy foliage that feels like you are in the middle of nowhere even though in reality you are merely yards away from the nearest McMansion. I would go with two of my friends and we would hang out and throw stones, and set fires and generally behave like suburban Huck Finns. One day, in an empty lot, we found an abandoned US Postal Service van. The back of the truck was open, and there was mail everywhere. We jumped in the back and ripped open a few envelopes completely oblivious to the concept of Federal offenses etc. The first couple we opened were uninspiring. Direct mail. Personal letters. And then we struck gold. In a package tied with string we found a neat stack of magazines… Playboys! The moment we opened them, our lives were changed for ever more. Mind you, up until now, these types of magazines were merely the stuff of legend. We'd all caught fleeting glimpses of our dad's, but never had copies of our own, to pore over and study with an intensity our studies never knew. We sat in the back of the van looking at these parts in utter silence, like primitive man upon first discovering fire. For years, we had taunted each each other on the school yard for years, calling each other “beaver,” “snatch,” or “tithead” but had never seen actually seen what they looked like before… we divvied the packet up and all ran home as quickly as possible. I kept mine in a shoe box at the base of my wardrobe and would pull it out and study it for hours. What I found most engrossing were the ads at the back for a variety of aids like pocket vaginas, and blow up dolls and arab straps – a shocking world of creative invention and danger.