381 CHRONICLESnsparsely populated countryside is Scandinaviannin feel and the motels arentimbered, ski-lodge affairs, with lognfires blazing in your bedroom.nAt Pucon we were, apart from onenperipatetic Englishman, the onlynguests at the Antumalal lodge perchednover the long Villarrica lake. The managernwas genuinely puzzled by ournrequest for a key to our room; therenwas none. We had entered the almostnforgotten world of total trust.nThe excursions around Pucon couldnbe delightfully Swiss or Bavarian atnwill, with the nearby national parknpresided over by an active volcanon(high drama at night). Twenty-five kilometersndown a country track, LakenCaburga was lovely, the returning motoristnrewarded by a glorious open-airnsteep in a steaming mountainside thermalnbath at Huife. No one about butnfor the concierge of the simple establishmentnand her two chubby, rosecheekednchildren.nFrom Pucon it is a day’s drive downnto Nilque on the south shore of LakenPuyehue, another lake fisherman’s paradise.nMore rustic stone thermal bathsnhere and a more ambitious lakesidenmotel, popular in season with skiersnmaking for the justly celebratednAntillanca slopes. After visiting a fewninvigorating waterfalls, or saltos, andngenerally hiking the mountainsides, wenstruck further south to find the gem ofnthe district at the end of the line, that isnunless you intend to investigate Antarctica.nFrom pretty lakeside Ensenada ancinder or volcanic-lava track runs angritty 30 kilometers down thenReloncavi estuary to Ralun, ostensiblynno more than a scatter of farmers’ andnfishermen’s shacks. The tidal lake, onnwhich excursions may be taken, isnringed by the ice-cream cone of thenOsorno volcano, the spiky MountnCalbuco, and the great gravenArgentinian Tronador, or thunderer, innthe distance. The untouched woodednslopes and lakeside walks under thensnowline are idyllic. We spent onencrisp morning alone by the lovely fallsnof Petrohue, with acres of broom inngolden bloom, plus butterflies thatnwould have sent Nabokov crazy, until anbusload of giggling uniformed schoolgirlsndebouched from a bus and cascadednall over my wife with questionsnabout America. How boring it must bento travel by the liberal Baedeker, andnmiss scenes like these.nGeoffrey Wagner is a retired CitynCollege English professor who travelsnwidely in South America.nLetter FromnBoyhoodnby John W. AldiidgenCandy Store DreamsnBoyhood was once a distinct and definablenstage in the life cycle of the Americannmale. It was also by the standards ofntoday almost unbelievably innocent. Atnleast it was in the small Midwestern citynwhere I grew up just before the Depression.nThere was no available sex orntelevision. Drugs were unknown; racialnconflict did not exist (if only becauseneverybody seemed white); and crimenwas a phenomenon you were thrilled tonhear about on forbidden radio mysterynprograms late at night, after parents hadngone to bed. The result was that we hadnto compensate for these deprivations asnbest we could through the ferocity ofnour play and the limited fertility of ournimaginations.nI remember that in the summersnafter school was out, we always wentnbarefoot and did dangerous things. Wenwould climb up on the roofs of garagesnand jump off, pretending we werencrashing airplanes. At the ages of eightnor 10, aviation and record-setting flightsnacross the Atlantic were much on ournBOOKS IN BRIEFnminds, and we would swing in thenswings in the park playing Charles A.nLindbergh or Post and Gatty until wenwere going high and fast. Then wenwould leap off^ the seats and see whoncould jump the farthest. Sometimesnbecause of some disagreement or justnfor fiin we would form into warringngangs and pelt one another with stonesnand clods of dirt.nOn the Fourth of July, which wasnexcitingly lethal before the enactmentnof all the safety laws, we had fireworks ofngreat variety and explosive power. Theynwere the small round torpedoes that hadnan oddly flaky, parchment-like surfacenand went off with a fair bang whennthrown against something. We threwnthem at one another or set them on thenstreetcar tracks. When the car came andnthey exploded, the motorman wouldnalways open the door and step down tonthe street and stand shaking his fist atnthe world. If this happened when it wasnsufficiently dark, one of us might sneaknup to the rear of the car and yank thentrolley wheel off^ the overhead wire.nThis would stop the motor and cause allnthe lights in the car to go out and sendnthe motorman into a bellowing fit ofnapoplexy.nThen there were the small ladyfingersnthat came tied together in a packetnand sounded like a machine gun whennthey exploded. If we had the money, wenbought large firecrackers that could benas long as 10 inches and had the blast ofna shotgun. We buried them up to theirnfuses in the dirt and set them under tinncans or in the hollow legs of iron fencesnso that they went off with a louder bangnU.S.-Soviet Summits by Gordon Weihmiller and Dusko Doder, Lanham, MD:nInstitute for the Study of Diplomacy/University Press of America; 230 pp. This isnuseful reference to the 10 major U.S./USSR summits of 1955-85. It covers the backgroundnand outcome of each meeting, the most recent being the Reagan-Gorbachev meeting innGeneva in November 1985. In addition to thoughtful analysis of every summit, a factualnsummary of each includes their published agreements and communiques.nPromise or Peril: The Strategic Defense Initiative, edited by Zbigniew Brzezinski,nWashington, DC: Ethics & Public Policy Center; 480 pp. Promise or Peril is ancomprehensive collection of 36 short articles on historical, political, technical, and moralndimensions of SDL It contains Soviet and American perspectives as well as views fromnWestern Europe, arms control documents, chronology, and glossary. It is an excellentnreference for what has become a central issue in arms control discussions.nReligious Prisoners in the USSR, edited by Michael Rowe, Keston, UK: Greenfire/nKeston College; 160 pp. With a foreword by the emigre poetess Irina Ratushinskaya, thisndense book contains documentation of the latest Soviet laws on religion as well as hundredsnof cases of persecuted religious believers, along with their addresses.nnn