Raising three boys was perhaps the second most exciting part of my life. The first was teaching. But I remember that on the 4th of July they, one year, found diversion in taking ordinary fire crackers, slicing them open with a razor blade, and making bigger fire crackers, what they called M-4s.
I was kept ignorant of these goings-on, but one day, as I was going into our basement to my work bench, I met Paul coming up in a hurry. I noticed a piece of pipe in his hand, and curious about his doings these last few days, I questioned him on it.
Now I was always honest with my boys, and they in turn were always honest with me. He said he was making a bigger firecracker. I looked at the piece of plumbing in his hand. As an adult, I would call it a pipe-bomb. I gently told him I would keep that piece of pipe.