A Friend:Winter Memories, Hubpage Challenge

New School

Often times somewhat trivial images from my early years stick in my mind. Sort of mental Kodak moments. One such image dates back to about 1942 when I was about seven years old and in the first grade at a new school. A new school and a new city; although at the age of seven one city is about like another. Anyhow, for reasons unknown to a seven year old, our family decided to relocate to Minneapolis, Minnesota from Des Moines, Iowa.

Something seemed to have gone wrong with the moving plan. As I understand it, we got to Minneapolis, but our furniture didn’t. Apparently the moving truck got lost and ended up in another state altogether. Even without the interstate highways, it shouldn’t be that hard to find Minnesota from the middle of Iowa. Additionally we had no place to live, so my parents, two brothers, my sister (all of high school age) and myself moved in with my aunt and uncle who also had several children. Two of theirs were in the service as the Second World War was still being fought. Never the less, it was a bit crowded. After a short time, despite mothers protest, Dad found and purchased a four bedroom house nearby. It was about a half mile to the grade school I was going to. I was in first grade. My oldest brother was a senior in high school. The youngest was a freshman.

To me, it seemed that Minneapolis had more snow than Des Moines did. I‘m not sure if it did, but Des Moines is just a little milder. A few years ago we took a trip to Texas and got caught in a snowstorm in Des Moines and stayed over for the night. Snow is snow.

Back to 1942.


I was walking to school the first day in our new house. It was a longer walk than it had been from my uncle’s place. I huddled up in my sheepskin lined coat, pulled down the earlaps of my cap and shoved my hands in my pockets. Then I saw this kid. He was carrying what looked like a big snowball on his shoulder. I thought to myself, “That kid is going to dump that snow down my back or on my head.”

“Hey, kid,” shouted. Look at this big snowball I found.”

“Here it comes,” I thought and braced myself for whatever.

Then he dropped it and fell in beside me and we walked on to school.”

His name was Dean and he was my best friend for the years we both lived in the neighborhood. His father was in the Navy. Actually, many fathers of my friends were in the service. My Dad was in his

forties at the time, so he was not in the services. My oldest brother would be drafted after high school. Many fathers were gone for various reasons, but mostly because of the war.

Dean’s family moved to anew suburb when his father came home with the GI bill. My sister was married by that time and her husband also was able to buy in the same neighborhood with the GI bill.

When I was in the tenth grade we moved to a house in a different neighborhood. I didn’t know that Dad would die of cancer in a few months. By that time my oldest brother lived in California, my sister was married. The youngest of my brothers lived at home until I graduated from high school and he got married. Through those years I did see my old neighborhood friend occasionally.

Model A

Source

Model A Ford

I can’t remember the time frame but when were young. Model A Fords were a bit of a fad at certain schools in the Minneapolis area. Many people were restoring them. Oddly, it was popular in some schools but not others. In the school Dean went to it was popular and Dean had one. I didn’t.

One weekend my mother, my brother and I were going to visit my grandparents in Princeton, Minnesota, which is about 60 miles north of Minneapolis. I invited Dean to come along and we drove up in his restored Model A.

College

The last time I saw Dean was in college. We lived what we would call “a stone’s throw” from the University of Minnesota campus. It was Winter again and some of us learned that there was a network of tunnels between various buildings and underground garages. For students like myself, we will take any opportunity to duck in out of the cold. On one such trip through the buildings I met dean waiting in the hallway to get into a classroom. We chatted for a few minutes, than I had to run to get to my own class.

My brother ran into Dean a few years later and told me that Dean got married and was working as a traveling salesman. My brother, who died recently, had moved back to the neighborhood. He was 85 years old.

Source

Childhood friend

Did you have a childhood friedship that lasted a long time?

  • I had one
  • Had several
  • never
See results without voting

1940's Minneaplis

Children 1940's Minneapolis

Source

© 2014 Don A. Hoglund

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16 comments

lyndapringle profile image

lyndapringle 21 months ago from Austin, Texas

This was a very interesting story about a long term friendship. Those are actually quite rare to maintain. I've only managed to keep one long term friend who I met in middle school. We are now 50 years old and have kept in touch since we were 12 and throughout multiple events in our lives.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I think friendship exists on a variety of levels. Some is based on common interests, some on mutual acquaintances and family. Some just seem to happen.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 21 months ago from The Caribbean

When your memories are about people, those are precious memories. Thanks for sharing this pleasant read!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 21 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

What a great story Don! As you know, I too lived in Iowa and Minnesota in those days and experienced Christmas in both places.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

MsDora, thanks for commenting. Glad you enjoyed my reminiscence.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Bill. For some reason people like to think of Iowa as "hicksville." My sister who is eight years older than me was born in Minneapolis, and doesn't want anyone to think she was born in Iowa although she largely grew up in Des Moines. My parents moved from Minneapolis to Des Moines in the early 1930s and back to Minneapolis about 1942.

This Winter is a bit odd. We got snow in fairly early November and it melted off about a week or so ago. There a patches of snow on the ground surrounded by green grass.

Have yourself a merry Christmas.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 21 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Those memories are precious, treasure the tears, treasure the laughter and above all treasure the memories. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories, I also loved the images.

Best wishes to you.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanku reading and commenting on my hub. I find it odd, in a way, that the image of walking to a new school on a cold day stuck in my memory. However, it is a rreminder of life at the end of the World War II.

Best wishes to you, as well.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia

It's funny the things that stick in our memories dahoglund. This was an interesting winter story. Thanks for taking Jackie's challenge. Happy New Year.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting on my story Jodah. Happy New year to you as well!


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 21 months ago from Niagara Region, Canada

Your line about memories being mental Kodak moments is so true. I could really feel the nostalgia in your words and could see that little boy walking in the snow on his way to his new school. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your childhood. Have a safe New Year. Kim


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Kim. I was a bit afraid the "Kodak moment" might be outdated with digital cameras and such. I appreciate your comments and am glad you like the story.

Don


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 21 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Don,

I heard on the news just this morning that Kodak type pictures are once again becoming popular with younger people. Loved the nostalgia in your piece. My hubby was born in Iowa and I still have relatives living there. It is a pretty state! Up votes and sharing.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 21 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting on this winter story, Peggy! I don't think anything captured what Iowa is like as "Music Man" did. Boys bands, Barbershop Quartets, and such. Thanks for the votes and share.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 17 months ago from Somewhere in the West

Hi Dahoglund nice little story i felt really sad for some reason when you said your dad died of cancer. How sad, well it's good to know at your age you can be still up and active and your brain is still fresh to remember such things and even to write and share stories with us.

Thank God for that :)

Keep good and take care of yourself!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 17 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I am fortunate to have had cancer (twice) and survived it. In my father's day, nobody even used the word. It was hardest on my mother as she had to care for him in those last few months. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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