The History of Daddy Claxton – Childhood Video Compilation

Home movies are a wonderful thing. At least to the beholder, I suppose.

For those of you curious enough, here’s video of me as a first grader living on Fortuna in Atwater, CA. As you will see, there was still a lot of construction going on around our apartment complex near Five Points. This was a happening apartment complex for TDY officers at Castle Air Force Base. This was our second trip to California. For the last few months of first grade, I went to Elmer Wood Elementary, about a mile down the road. I walked that far to school, yes, even in first grade. Most parents these days wouldn’t dream of letting their kids do such.

Our old apartment on Fortuna in Atwater, CA. Look at the tree here and then look for it as a sapling in the video. Too cool. Sort of.

Our old apartment on Fortuna in Atwater, CA. Look at the tree here and then look for it as a sapling in the video. Too cool. Sort of.

Video then transitions to K.I. Sawyer AFB in Northern Michigan. We lived there three or four times, too. We moved from Fortress to Dagger at one point. In all, I lived at 169 Explorer, 208 Fortress, and 248 Dagger. My dad was sent back after I got into college and lived further down on Fortress.

Then there’s video of my brothers and I at Yosemite. I was out on a fallen sequoia over the Merced and he threw a rock into the water. It stirred me and I went in with it….

When we went back to Atwater for seventh – ninth grade, I went to Mitchell Senior Elementary School in Atwater. You can see Mr. Kirby, our band director, for just a second as the camera pans across the band playing out in Applegate Park.  Kirby was good study under, but I dropped out of band in eight grade, with an A, because he kept changing the rules up from day to day and I’d had my fill of it. Some days I wish I’d continued with band, others, I’m glad I moved on.

There’s also video in here of my brothers and I moving about Washington, DC. This clearly was during our good day there. We went through the White House and then went down the street for lunch to a cafe.  For some reason, I remember getting pinto beans with my meal. Anyways, by the time we got toward the Smithsonian, I was sick, sick, sick and had full-blown food poisoning. We spent the next two or three days in a hotel hoping I could recover. Dad took me to Andrews AFB for treatment. It was bad. I was even losing blood, if you know what I mean.

Anyways, I’m thankful I have these video memories. I’m happy to forget the food poisoning part. But it started a trend though about going to DC.  For the next several trips in my life, it always seemed like something bad happened when I went there. Laptop crashed. I got left at the White House without Gov. Fob James, who was supposed to be there for a meeting with President Clinton and instead stayed up on the Hill with Gingrich and Dole in March of 1995.  That was an episode the Alabama editorial press loved.

Anyways, thanks for letting me share.

We went past the apartment on Fortuna last time I was in Atwater. I’m glad I saw it in better days. After BRAC got a hold of Castle AND KI, well, things went down hill for the economies of both areas.



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