Tuesday, March 13, 2007

When I Was A Kid

I have many memories of my childhood. Some of them are very fond. I shall attempt to share a few. This was a tag from Professor.

For my fifth birthday I received a maroon and cream two wheeled bike. Now, I had never ridden a bike before, so I needed training wheels. Dad installed them a little close to the ground, which made braking pointless. It didn’t brake. I rode out of our driveway, into the gravel road, which went past our house. There was a little hill and then a bridge going across a channel where rowboats were moored for rent. I kept veering left towards the channel, trying to stop. I was hollering, “stop,” but I just kept rolling and rode out into the channel. It was only 3 feet deep, so there was no danger to me, but my bike was totally submersed. Our neighbor got a rake, waded into the channel and rescued my bike. Mom laughed!

We had woods behind where we lived; we played there all the time. We would leave in the morning and traipse back to the woods where we played cowboys and Indians all day. We thought Mom never knew where we were, but found out as adults that she and the neighbor lady would periodically walk into the woods to where she could see us, check on us, and then walk back home.

Going to Grandma F.’s was fun. She lived in town. She bought Pepsi Cola. She let my brother and I stay up and watch the “late show.” She had T.V.; we didn’t.

I wanted to smoke. My dad smoked, so Mom let my brother and I light up. I was about 7. She didn’t let us quit! I think I turned green!

Christmas was always exciting. One year we got real leather boxing gloves. However, our parental unit didn’t think what the smell of leather might do to our dog. Christmas morning we got our “prechewed” boxing gloves.

Parents were gone for a long weekend. Brother and I invited 50 of our friends to our lake house for a “beer party.” The sheriff showed up, but we had a phone call warning us. So Brother and I and another friend, tossed all the beer into our canoe, paddled into the middle of the lake, and started tossing beer bottles and cans into the water. Then we paddled into the shadows (it was after midnight) and bulrushes and waited. Sure enough, the sheriff arrived, knocked on the door, walked around the house, then left. What a waste of good beer!

A bunch of neighborhood kids decided to go “halloweening” aka prank playing. We threw corn at the old man next door’s windows, we lit a burlap bag of cow poop outside another guys door on his cement porch, and hid and watched him come out and stomp it out! We smashed a pumpkin and stuffed it into a mailbox, causing the owner to shoot a shotgun over our heads. We climbed a farm fence topped with barbed wire, getting ripped pants, ran through a field and across an old cemetery where Brother fell into a sunken grave. What a night.

We always ate our evening meal together, at the dining room table, with a tablecloth and real china. Supper was on the table promptly at 6 p.m. We even prayed before we ate.

We prayed at school every day before going to lunch. Lunch was real food, cooked at school by some farm ladies who ran the lunchroom. The best chicken and noodles I ever ate came from there.

Going to church was not optional. When the old Chevy was pointed towards town and church, we were expected to be in the back seat. We never questioned going or complained about it, either.

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