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Rated: E · Column · Biographical · #2118047
Memories of childhood. Read at your own risk.
Grandmas are asked to tell stories about when they were young. I can't believe I'm now almost a senior citizen. I get a shock every time I look in the mirror. Let me take you back though, to when I was a child in the fifties and sixties.

My friend and I followed her brother to school. I turned back. She didn't. They had to call the police to find her.
I danced with my shadow in the late afternoon.
I went wading with my parents in the street after a rain when I was four.
I thought the waves were going to cover me up.
The waves were small, but so was I.
I loved green, leafy places and hideaways made of cardboard boxes.
If a box wasn't available a tent made of blankets made me just as happy.
I liked to climb trees. I wasn't very good at it, but I liked to climb them.
I rode a one speed bike. It went as fast as my legs did.
To make a cool motor noise, I took a piece of cardboard and clipped it to the spokes with a clothespin.
I had a little car the size of a matchbox that I liked to run up and down the woodwork and across the floor. I loved that car.
TV wasn't what is is today, but I liked to watch Superman, and Foreman Scotty on Channel 4.
I couldn't run fast, but man could I swim.
I was an interdenominational child. I think I went to every Bible school offered over the years.
I was an only child. My pets were my buddies.
All of my dolls were named Elizabeth.
We went to parades that celebrated Pioneer Days.
I climbed on Dad's car and got green on my hands from the paint.
I rode a bike with two training wheels, then one training wheel, then none. I had to learn not to lean.
My daddy was REALLY ticklish. He jumped really high when I poked him in the ribs.
When I was nine, they took me to town and when I asked why we were going to Montgomery Wards,
they said, "Hide, watch and see." They came out with a big box that had a guitar in it. (I had mentioned in passing that I'd like to learn to play). Dad taught me to make chords.
We went on picnics and car rides and got ice cream at the Dairy Queen for a special treat.
We kids scrounged for Coca Cola bottles to get into the Coca-Cola shows that were held in the summer to keep us entertained and amused. For two bottles we got to get in and watch cartoons and serials all morning at the local theater.
Our little town did a wonderful job of providing programs. I learned to swim and to folk dance.
I remember being packed into the car on dollar night per car at the drive in with my parents and their friends. We kids escaped the car to play in front of the concession stand underneath the light streaming from the projection booth. To this day, I can't tell you what movies they watched.
I twirled sparklers and set off firecrackers each Fourth of July. Note: Twenty firecrackers tied together make a wonderful string of pops.
I spent four months apart from my parents when I was ten because they were sick. I didn't get to see my dad for nearly a year because he took longer to get well. I still have the letter he wrote to my mother. I lived with my aunt on a farm for those four months--but that's another story.
I giggled away my sixth grade year. (Apparently, everything was funny--except math. That wasn't funny. It was excruciating).
My Grandma was convinced I'd be a great artist, or writer, or something. She entered me in those artist contests that were in the magazines. (Their response: I was too young but I had great talent). She bought me a big roll of shelf paper to draw on so I wouldn't draw up my mama's stationery. When I was little, I would write her long letters of scribbles. When she died, we found them among her things. I used it to draw and scribble stories. Her last letter to me affirmed that she would love me always.
There were no cell phones and no computers to amuse us. We played outside and didn't have to be told to exercise. I climbed a few trees, but didn't go high because I was (and still am) afraid of heights.
My dad ran the little steam engine train ride for a couple of summers. I would go with him to the park, dive into the pool, and swim for hours. I was quite literally, a little fish. It is the one exercise I loved.
I wasn't an angel. The neighbor boy and I dug a tunnel in his mama's garden. It was a really neat tunnel with boards for the roof so it wouldn't cave in. We got in BIG trouble. He still remembers that.
I remember where I was the day Kennedy was assassinated. There was no school the day of the funeral. I stayed home and watched it on a small screen black and white TV. The skies outside were correspondingly gray.
There were good times, and bad times, and so-so times. There were times of celebration and times of sadness. A tapestry of memories makes up my childhood. These were my Olden Days.

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