Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Of course I could not possibly list all the goings on from Little Rock, so I'll move forward to Mt. Vernon, Illinois. We moved there before I was in first grade (I think) because I remember going to school at Summerville Elementary. I only recall living in one house there, the address being #2 Royal Place - a two story house with a basement, a pump house, a bag swing and huge yard with trees to climb and a rock/stone fence around the perimeter, not to mention a nice dead-end road for coasting down on your bike or scooter. We thought we were at the 'top' of a hill..so steep. Returning there one year I found the 'top' to be only elevated by a little imagination. The house had a balcony off of Mom & Dad's room, where Dad fell once when he rolled out of bed. The bathroom upstairs had a tub situated 'longways' where you had to walk into the tub to turn the faucet at the opposite end. There was also a big 'linen' closet in the bathroom where we climbed in and played with our "give a show projector"...black and white little films of Mighty Mouse or Casper the Ghost, hand cranked by the operator at the time. The basement - where Dad's old desk from work was - flooded once. I think we played with toys down there...and I remember an "easy bake" oven and plastic dishes, including a rolling pin. I remember that Beth and I shared a room - imagine that with 5 kids at the time - and that the beds we had there, Mom still has at her house now. I think they might have even been antiques at that time! Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle June lived at 404 Spruce Drive, and across the street was a girl named Margaret (I think) who I loved to visit and play games with. She was "older" and very cool, especially when we went roller skating at the park. The rink was open to the air, screen on some sides with a roof. I remember the girls would fall down just so the guys would help them up!! Mom packed lunches for school, but we got to buy our milk at the cafeteria. Lunch was usually bologna on white bread with potato chips and cookies as I recall, which I carried in my red plaid metal lunch kit. When I was in second grade, Beth was in first, and Mom made our clothes, usually somewhat alike. Dresses only, of course, with socks (maybe knee socks). Grandpa bought me red patent leather shoes at Buster Brown or Red Goose. I remember one dress I had that was in a floral print that matched another that Beth had. I think people asked us if we were twins. I remember the "weekly reader" and learning phonics, plus making a mural on the wall in our classroom with egg shells painted like flowers. I was in second grade when we found out we were moving to Texas, and I remember showing my class where Waco was on the map. We had a little girl that lived next door who we would play "Barbie" with on occasion, though I had the "Midge" doll with shorter reddish hair. The honeysuckle grew along the fence and it seems we were always trying to 'drink' the nectar. Billy and I climbed the tree in the front yard - either pine or cedar I think - because I remember getting the tree sap on my clothes. At the time, it was the tallest tree ever. Grandma came to stay with us once when Mom & Dad went on a vacation to the Grand Canyon. I remember needing a handkerchief for a class project (making a parachute for a toy soldier) and Grandpa bringing me a red rag from the shop. He thought it was funny, and then gave me a regular handkerchief. I was in Brownies and remember Uncle June filling in once for a 'daddy/daughter' dinner, and we danced the Mexican hat dance. The family car at the time was an Electra 225 with fins - maroon color I think. And when it came time to move to Texas, we traveled in VW bus, with curtains made from red shop towels. Discipline was usually a spanking with the 'tail-e-whacker', a wooden paddle which I undersand Uncle June liked to hide so Mom or Dad couldn't use it. Mom had a 'sewing porch' off the kitchen. I remember she sewed ALOT!