February 23, 2020

Growing up in The Nineteen Fifties

It was a spring-like day today, Sunday too, so we raked and burned leaves this afternoon and roasted hotdogs over the chimenea fire. Actually, I roasted hotdogs and we both ate them. 

Image result for chicken clip artI asked Bill if he remembered the story of The Little Red Hen. I was feeling a little like that little chicken at the time. Bill didn't remember the story and that precipitated a conversation of just what did we remember about growing up. The following are a few of the flashbacks we came up with. 
 Maybe this will take you back in time too.

Bill remembers his little red peddle car, playing cowboys, Saturday movies (my mother would not let me go to those...(Mama was way too protective!)  Bill was about ready for a Sunday nap and not much interested in going down memory lane with me but the whole thing got me to thinking.

penny candy - Here I am looking at all of the candy deciding what I should get.   
I grew up in the 1950s, my earliest memories are when we lived in Sheffield, Ala (now known as Muscle Shoales) There was a little store about a block from our house and sometimes Mama would go there for something and I would get a nickel to spend on penny candy. For 5 pennies could get a hot cinnamon jawbreaker, a peanut stick, a peppermint stick, or other "penny" candies. If I wanted to blow the whole nickel, I could have a Baby Ruth Candy Bar.  

Mama and her friends liked to go "shopping". We had a McLellan's Five and Dime store in our town and if I was good, I got 15 cents to spend there. It was always hard to decide between a new paper doll book or a coloring book. I loved the movie star paper dolls. There was Bette Grabel, Doris Day, Shirley Temple or maybe Marilyn Monroe. I loved cutting out the paper outfits and dressing up the dolls.
We moved several blocks away when I was six. We bought a new bigger house and there were kids on both sides of us. We played cowboys and cops and robbers. My little friend and I were always the robbers because the boys were older and we didn't get a choice. I remember one time they locked us in the washroom (a room outside the house where the washing machine was...no dryer back then. We all hung our clothes on a clothesline outside) I don't remember who let us out but I think the boys got into trouble over that one. 

I got my first bike when we lived there and it took me a year to learn how to ride it. I was scared I would fall! The boys next door finally got tired of watching me push it around and taught me how to ride. We had much fun with our bikes. There was an alley next to my house and it was the perfect place to ride. Our street was too busy to be safe.

 As I said above, my mother was very protective of me...honestly, she was too protective but I managed to survive anyway. She would not let me go to the Saturday movies with all the other kids. For some reason she let me go once. It was a Hopalong Cassidy film and I had a great time. I have no idea what caused her to let me go but she never did it again. Mama and Daddy would sometimes take me to the movies at night. I remember seeing The Greatest Show on Earth and all of us kids played "circus" for weeks after that one. A swing set can become a terrific trapeze with a little imagination.

"Kick the Can" was a fun neighborhood game too. It's a wonder we survived that one. I remember getting a pretty nasty cut from a jagged can top.

 Of course, "dress up" was a favorite with the girls. We would dress up in old curtains and play like we were movie stars or singers. Our front porch was the stage and we would sing all the popular songs of the day from our top step theater. Sometimes we played "wedding" or "flower shop". We would dress up in old lace curtains and make bouquets from the blooms on Mama's flowering shrubs. I guess that may be where my love of flowers and plants got its start.

  We walked home from school every day. It was only a few blocks and there were sidewalks all the way. One afternoon we decided to take a short cut through a vacant lot. The grass was about waist high and there was a little path through the tall grass. About halfway across the lot, we scared a huge black snake and it chased us all the way across to the other side! Talk about scared! I'm not sure if we or the snake was the most afraid but I promise you we never took that short cut again!

I probably could write another book about childhood adventures. Heck, maybe I will, but in the meantime, I'd love to read about your favorite or most funny childhood stories. Was your mama as protective as mine? Post a comment below and share it with us all.  

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