When we played guns, there were no Good Guys, no Bad Guys.
We didn’t designate any of us—Richie, Alfie, Tommy, or me—to be the indians or the Robbers or the Nazis.
We played Cowboys versus Cowboys, Soldiers versus Soldiers, Commandos versus Commandos.
Often we didn’t call ourselves anything.
It was the early 1940s, when the evening radio brought wartime news and the Saturday matinee featured sharp-shooting western heroes.
But as we shot at each other
from behind suburban pines, maples, and azalea bushes,
we seemed to have no need for
myths of White Hats, Civilization, or the Free...