Thursday, July 14, 2011
Remembering: Part 2
The story of my first 12 years:
Playing on the cannon for hours (by myself, a lot) while my dad was in Elaine's. I could have been in Elaine's too, but the only thing to do in there was play shuffleboard and mess around with the jukebox and it irritated people when I chose the same song over and over again; Queen of Hearts.
The first house I fell in love with. If I had the money and desire to live in Iowa, perhaps I'd buy it now.
The bandstand in the park...so many memories...the center of events for the annual Corn Carnival. This is where I saw my first hypmotist and where everyone gathered for the most advertised event "Bobby Burrell and Pammy Patrick"...two child singers the town was in love with. I wonder what happened to them.
My elementary school..which looks remarkably like it did 25 years ago save for the smaller windows and safer playground equipment.
The grain elevator. I was never partial to this piece of town. I thought it was ugly. It made the town smell like popcorn in the fall. In my mind, it represents the longest part of getting from one side of town to the other. We were on foot...always.
The ballfield. I probably have a year's worth of time spent there. No, I didn't even like ball. But, I played. Not because I wanted to, but because that is what people did.
The tracks. There are a few relics that remind me of more dangerous times. Times when parents felt completely safe (I guess) allowing their children to grow up on the tracks. We used to smash pennies and other things. I used to sit under the bridge (a few feet from moving trains) with my cousins and neighbors (I was always the oldest.) while the olders were down the tracks picking berries. We'd climb over or under trains if they were stopped and blocking our way. In my later years, we went through a period of having bonfire building contests next to them. Well...until one of the neighbors (who wasn't very fun) called Grandma Helen to report us. Yeah, that was a fun day.
It's probably a given I was a strange child. I liked the graveyard (In my later years I understood "cemetery" is how most people refer to this.). We played there often. I'd go there alone to look at the stones and to marvel at their age There's one there made from concrete and decorated with marbles. I was trying to find it, but I couldn't. ...on a daily basis. When it snowed, the town's kids would sled down the far hill, but now it's covered with graves. I wonder where they sled now.
The window to my bedroom in a house that is about to fall down. My mom built me a window seat in this window and the curtains that still hang are the curtains my Great-Grandma Boone made for for my 11th birthday. I wonder if the room is still yellow?
If I sat facing west on my window seat, the water tower is what I saw.
Hmmm...there was more that is no longer there. The little store "Benge's" were we'd buy candy. The aforementioned Elaine's. The little park and shelterhouse across from the graveyard. The horseshoe pit where we'd steal clay. Bingo. I wonder if they still have Saturday night bingo for 10 cents?
The bridge...which is still there, but which was rebuilt and is not the same-by far. It used to be wooden and steep. We'd haul our bikes up there and then ride them down seeing how far we could coast. This was probably far more dangerous than playing on the tracks below. It must have been. No old lady ever came out to scream at us to get off the tracks. When we were on that bridge, it was only a matter of time before someone came out to scream at us to go find something else to do. And then they usually called Grandma Helen to report us. (In my adult years, I realize the shape of that bridge was kind of like a mountain and drivers could only see the other side of it when they were at the top.)
I alternate between awe I survived my childhood and sadness my kids have such a boring one.
Posted by Melissa at 12:00 PM