Thursday, April 8, 2010

Memories: Random Thoughts of Childhood

There is nothing better than reminiscing about the good old here goes.

My grandparents on my Mom's side used to play a marble board game with us all the time. Pretty much like the aggravation game only we always had a homemade hand drilled board to play on. You would roll the dice and move or take off marbles. We would play as partners. I haven't thought about that game in years.

Do you remember the clackers? I don't know what they were really called, but that's what we called them. A string with a hard ball on both ends that you would clack up and down together. That's all they were good for...but hey, I had to have one.

We use to play a game on summer evenings where I would blindfold my sister and her friends then they would all hold hands and I would lead them around trying to mess them up and they would try to guess where they were at. Sometimes we'd pull them in a wagon we had covered with a blanket...and they would guess that way.

Every Sunday, my mom and dad would give us money to walk down town to buy some comic books and penny candy. As we grew older, we learned that they were trying to get rid of us for an hour or so for some romantic time. T-M-I.

Summer evenings were my favorite times and I would sit on my front porch at night and watch the cars go by (It didn't take much to entertain us back then.)

Do you remember all of the jump rope jingles. And Skateland. Now that was fun! Especially when they had couples only and some dorky boy would grab your hand to skate with you. We bowled for fun on Saturdays. We played pinball machines when we had money to waste.

We were as obsessed with Vampires as this group of teens are, only ours was Dracula and Dark Shadows. I remember one night they showed Dracula in our high school auditorium and then I had to walk all the way home afterwards. I would hit the viaduct running as fast as I could until I was almost home. I hated having to walk through that little viaduct at night. But we had to walk everywhere. Parents did not drive you walked. I do, however, remember a boy writing my initials and his with a heart around them with a sharp chalky rock in that little viaduct. Years later I looked for it...but they had painted over all of the graffiti. Actually, that little viaduct is where I learned some of my naughtiest words.

We had some of the best fun nights and penny carnivals. And the cake walks were always a big deal. I remember Audrey Summers would put nearly all of her kids on a spot so they could take home one of those yummy cakes. Mothers actually baked back then and those cakes were works of art!

Our basketball games were in Crawford's little auditorium. We had pep club and you had to go and cheer. I even made up some not so nice cheers about the cheerleaders who seemed to think they were all that.

We had one teacher...Mr. K....who would ask you if you wanted a knuckle sandwich. He would turn this big old ring upside down and bop you on the head with it. Or he'd take both arms and slam one on your front and one on your back sandwiching the boys really hard. I even remember when Mr. Smith took a blackboard eraser and threw it at a kid in the back of the room. It whizzed passed our heads and hit him a good one. Or he'd pick up the desk with the kid still in it and drop it hard to the floor giving the kid a good jolt. Mr. D would call naughty students to the front of the room and make them bend over and grab their ankles. He would then take this big old paddle with holes in it and crack them on the butt. But none of us ever felt abused. We pretty much deserved it. And it worked pretty well at keeping us under control.

We knew how to have fun without being entertained. If we said we were bored...we got put to work. We didn't have videos, video games, or multiple tv channels to entertain us. Music on the radio was our vice. Our parents still ironed clothes and we had to learn how to iron them right. We had spray starch and you started with the collar or sleeves first. If mom wasn't did them over. We hung clothes on the clothesline. We learned to cook. We fried steaks and homemade hash browns, homemade pies and homemade everything. Funny, though...I didn't get fat eating all that fried, creamy, buttery, homemade wasn't until the processed and fast food stuff came along that I put on all that weight. We didn't have sodas with every meal. We were lucky to get a "pop" once a month...usually a big gallon jug of A & W frosty chilled root beer. We only drove to Chadron maybe a couple three times a year. We never really had to because we had everything you ever needed here in good old Crawford.

I remember going to Scottsbluff to get some school clothes and the only big store they had was K-mart. Only one fast food place...a drive-in hamburger place. No malls. Can you believe that?

I worked from the time I was fourteen doing anything and everything. Working at the Fort meant picking up litter, pulling weeds, restoring museum displays, and putting up signs. Pretty menial tasks. My starting minimum wage was $1.65 an hour.They would actually plant litter around to see if you would pick it up or step over it.

We did politically incorrect things. African-American knocking :) Yet we were pretty unaware of the racial injustices that was going on in the bigger cities. We lived history and missed it. First man on the moon, integration, Vietnam, draft dodging, Woodstock. Our R rated movies are tame compared to what you see now.

You could buy a vanilla coke and a bag of potato chips for a quarter. Our movie theater offered "Take a Chance" night for a quarter. You never knew what you would see, but you didn't was a movie! I remember one boy I liked climbing over the back of a theater chair to sit by me. Sigh!

When a boy called you a stupid knew he really liked you. At least that is what my grandpa told me when one boy called me Ratface.

We gave our chairs to adults...said please and thank you....and removed our caps in buildings.

Our biggest fear was Jake Hymer (our policeman)picking us up and chewing us out for riding your bike on the sidewalks.

We made some bad boy floats in our day. We used hundreds and hundreds of packages of napkins...but they were awesome. We would work on them all week in the evenings.

They were magical times. They were right when they said it was the good old days. Sometimes...when I just want to go back...I will play one of the old tunes...and enjoy some bittersweet memories. Back when my grandparents were all still alive.........and I wish I was young and free again! I miss those home cooked meals. I miss the innocence. I wish our children could experience it the way we did. But, you know what? It's getting harder to remember...

No comments: