ChipButty, yes, I've tried holding down the option key while booting but the distros wouldn't boot
srs5694, thank you for the links. It'll take me a bit to digest the info and try out a couple of options. The Debian-based distros I've tried work fine with Virtual Box, but fail to boot after installing them on the hard drive. I've never had a problem installing Ubuntu-based distros and have even installed other distros such as OpenSUSE and PCLinux.
Perhaps, I'll stick with Mint and Bodhi on the MacBook and buy an older refurbished Windows laptop to experiment with Debian-based distros such as CrunchBang.
System 76 Pangolin: 4x Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3230M CPU @ 2.60GHz, Manjaro 0.8.12 Xfce/Cinnamon 64-bit
iMac 21.5: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.06 GHz, dual boot Mac OS 10.6.9 and Manjaro 0.8.12 Xfce/Cinnamon 64-bit
It's never too late to learn something new.