It was 1969 and my Jr High School year was coming to an end and I would be starting High School after summer vacation. I was Petrified. I was the typical kid who was bullied from elementary school right through high school. Definitely Not one of the cool kids.
I grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Corona, Queens NY and until this day think of that as the best time of my life. Surrounded by all my family it truly was a safe haven for me. When we moved to Long Island in 1965 everything changed and almost immediately became a target for bullying for so many foolish reasons; I was Italian, I was small and I was a good, respectful kid.
So now I had to figure out a way to fit in and hopefully become friends with some of the school bullies for my own protection. Most of my classmates were already smoking while they were in Jr High so I thought, hmmm that might make me cool. I began smoking on summer vacation and it was horrible but I continued until I became used to it. Unfortunately by the time school started again I was a pack a day smoker. Long story short, I didn't become one of the cool kids and now smoking helped me cope with the bullying I faced on a daily basis.
I think most of us have a 'this is why I began smoking' story and looking back 50 years later I now realize I was foolish to start and to think smoking was 'Cool'. Now I'm here today, 50 years later, celebrating my One Year Anniversary as a non smoker.
NOW, I'm Cool
How did everyone else start?