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When I Was A Kid

Updated on November 13, 2016

Sandy Smiley Davison, When I Was A Kid.

I was born Sandra Sue Smiley on July 22, 1945 in West Covina, in Los Angeles County, California, to Clayton Burdette and Cecilia Amy Smiley. My mom and dad had two other children: my brother, Howard, who was born in 1940 and my sister, Jackie, who was born in 1937. We moved to Riverside, California in 1948.

I remember very little about my home in West Covina, but loved and have wonderful memories of living in Riverside, CA. My dad purchased 8 acres and decided to build his own home. I remember sleeping in a tent during the time he was building, probably on the weekends. But what really stands out is the sound of the coyotes. We could hear them howl at night. What a sound.

The whole world was my playground. We had hills to roam around on. There was a little creek where little fish swam and crawdads lived. We had snakes, tarantulas and scorpions. We had the greatest neighbors. We would have Easter Egg Hunts, parties at Halloween and birthday parties. I remember one birthday I got a cowgirl hat, outfit and boots. I even got a gun and holster. It was the era of westerns on TV.

I remember one of my favorite play times was to play cowboys and ride wooden horses. My dad bought me a toy wooden horse but I didn't like it. So he gave me a long stick and that was my horse. The long sticks were more fun because you could make lines in the ground if you had the longer stick horse. Crazy, I know. But the fun and imagination of being a kid.

Where I lived was out in the county and we had our mail delivered by a mail carrier who was also a neighbor. He was a mailman during the week and on the weekends he was a deputy sheriff. He would patrol the area by horse where I lived. His name was Mr. Coleman. I would go down to the end of our street, which was long and wait for him to come by on his horse. He would give me a lift back to the end of the street. It was so much fun. Those were the carefree days where we trusted our neighbors.

We had some animals. We had pigs, a calf, a goat (pet), chickens, dogs and cats. I remember one day I came home from school and my dad had to tell me our goat had died. I was crushed. He had gotten out and eaten something poisonous and died. I loved to play with that goat. He would run down one end of the coral and back and I would run with him. It was a game for both of us.

I remember one time going to an Easter Egg Hunt. It was not your usual hunt. Someone played a mean trick on the kids that year as many of the eggs were not hard boiled. Some smelled.

Halloween was especially fun. Neighbors would have parties. You would go to homes all decorated up and they would have cider and you would bob for apples. You always got great treats, like cupcakes and popcorn balls. And, given the weather, sometimes they would have hay rides.

I was ten years old when Elvis Presley was known to us. In November 20, 1955, his contract was sold to the New York-based RCA label for $35,000. That was a lot of money in those days. He was every girls "heart throb".

Pat Boone just became a new kid on the block. Chuck Berry had a hit called "Maybelline". Fats Domino had "Ain't That A Shame". Little Richard sung "Tutti Frutti". We danced to Rock Around The Clock.

By the time I was in 4th grade, my parents moved closer toward town. I was able to walk to school. I remember hurrying home after school to see the Soaps on TV. Also, one of our favorites was American Bandstand. That's when we girls discovered Wink Martindale. He was another heart throb.

Picture above: High School Picture 1963

1950s

Grammar School Picture

Probably 5th Grade

1960s - JUNIOR HIGH GRADUATION

This was very special time for me. Money was tight and my grandmother bought me my graduation dress and shoes. I was so excited to get them. I picked them out and I only wish this picture was in color.

1945 - 1950 Major Events

I was born in the a.m. about 6:00, from what I remember on my birth certificate. I am a morning person. Now for all the mundane events:

On of the most remembrances for most living at that time was the war. The day before my birthday, July 21, Harry S. Truman approves the order for atomic bombs to be used against Japan - WWII

The Hollywood Ten (1950) is an American 16mm short documentary. In the short, each member of the Hollywood Ten made a short speech to denounce McCarthyism and the Hollywood Blacklisting.

1945:

First Class Stamp was 3 cents.

Harry Truman becomes president of the US

The Holocaust is revealed to the world when British troops liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agree that the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan at the Yalta Conference

Germany surrenders, ending the war in Europe

The first atomic bomb explodes in Alamagordo, NM

US drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Japan surrenders, ending WWII

Adolf Hitler and his wife of one day, Eva Braun, commit suicide as Soviet troops approach Berlin

Bob Marley, Steve Martin, Rod Stewart, and Mia Farrow are born

Detroit Tigers win the World Series

Cleveland Rams win the NFL championship

Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup

Animal Farm by George Orwell is published

What happened the year you were born?

*****************

1950:

Masked bandits steal $2.8 million from Brink's in Boston

35 US military advisers are sent to South Vietnam to aid the anti-Communist government

North Korea invades South Korea

President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb

In South Africa, the Group Areas Act is passed formally segregating races

Peter Gabriel, Jay Leno, Bill Murray, and Stevie Wonder are born

New York Yankees win the World Series

Cleveland Browns win the NFL championship

Detroit Red Wings win the Stanley Cup

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov is published

What Happened The Year You Were Born

Playing Make Believe

I hate to admit it but I grew up on television. However, my Mom had enough sense to limit my television and make sure I was playing with friends and had outside time. One of my favorites was Rin Tin Tin. I had a friend that I visited on the weekend who had a German Shepard and we would relive the shows as we played.

The Old Programs Came with Morals

THANK YOU Bob Clampett!

The old shows, or back in my day when the earth was cooling, had something besides entertainment. Many seem to have a message; something to live by! Beany and Cecil. Yes, that's right. They were cute little hand puppets. A little boy and a sea loving (not fearing) sea serpent. Usually Beany and Cecil got into all kinds of situations; but there was always a moral to the story.

Howard, Sis and Me

My brother, Howard, was born in 1940. He always teased me and we were always fighting. He married, had three children and then got divorced. Then, I lost track of him. I discovered he passed away a few years ago from lung cancer.

***********************************

1955

My sister, Jackie, was 7 years older than me. She had a pretty voice and she took violin when she was in school. Later she learned to play the piano. I don't ever remember her taking lessons, and she could not read music, but she was really good a playing all the hits at that time. I always looked up to her. She was great even though she was older she never teased me and was always nice to me. I lost my sister a few years ago to a stroke. I truly miss her.

Credit: Kitty by www.artie.com

My Sister, Jackie and Me

 

1945 - 1955

 

Link Along into the 1945 - 1955

How Much things cost in 1945

Average Cost of new house $4.600.00

Average wages per year $2,400.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas 15 cents

Average Cost for house rent $60.00 per month

Average Cost New Car $1,020.00

Mens Shirt $2.50

The People History - 1945

A Time for Creative Minds

Facts from the Box

1945 - A US Bomber Crashes into the 79th Floor of The Empire State Building

In 1945 only 5,000 homes had Television Sets

According to Hasbro, since Charles Darrow patented the game Monopoly in 1935, approximately 750 million people have played the game, making it "the most played (commercial) board game in the world."

Hamm's Bears for Hamm's Beer

I just loved these little guys. When ever the commercial came on the TV, we all had to stop what we were doing to see the Bears perform.

Living in the 1950s

1950s teen party themes might include the sock hop, with dancers wearing rolled up jeans and penny loafers or vintage circle skirts and Oxford shoes.

American Bandstand began as a local program on WFIL-TV (now WPVI), Channel 6 in Philadelphia on October 7, 1952. Then it was hosted by Bob Horn and was called Bob Horn's Bandstand.On July 9 of 1956 the show got a new host, a clean-cut 26 year old named Dick Clark. When ABC picked the show up, it was renamed American Bandstand, airing it's first national show on August 5, 1957. The show was moved to Los Angeles in 1964. From 1963 to 1987 Bandstand was on only once a week, on Saturday. Briefly it was part of the USA Network with new host David Hirsh but went off the air in 1989.

Credit: www.fiftiesweb.com

Rock Around the Clock

BOARD GAMES OF THE 1950s

Created by William Schaper in 1948, the game Cootie was launched in 1949 and sold millions in its first years.

According to Hasbro, since Charles Darrow patented the game in 1935, approximately 750 million people have played the game, making it "the most played (commercial) board game in the world."

Remember Cootie?

The Greatest Place on Earth

Disneyland opens and has over 1 million visitors in only 7 weeks.

I got to go to Disneyland in the year it opened, in July, during my birthday. For a kid, first time, it was such a dream world. I believe Fantasyland was my favorite.

FANTASYLAND

FANTASYLAND
FANTASYLAND

WYATT EARP - My Favorite Western

Long live his name, long live his glory and long may his story be told.

Hugh O'Brian

Soupy Sales and the Gang

And then we had just plain nonsense. Soupy Sales, Pookie, White Fang and Black Tooth.....once again, hand puppets made the scene. I believe Pookie was a little lion cub; with White Fang, all you ever saw was his arm/fang and I don't remember about Black Tooth. I just remember his name. Read more about Soupy

AND THEN WE GROW UP - Hubby and Me on Our Wedding Day, December 16, 1967

THE GRADUATE - 1967 - Dustin Hoffman

Great acting and fantastic music from Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel

Scarborough Fair:

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Remember me to one who lives there.

She once was a true love of mine.

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt,

(A hill in the deep forest green)

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;

(Tracing of sparrow on snow-crested brown)

Without no seams nor needle work,

(Blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain)

Then she'll be a true love of mine.

(Sleeps unaware of the clarion call)

Tell her to find me an acre of land,

(On the side of a hill a sprinkling of leaves)

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;

(Washes the grave with silvery tears)

Between the salt water and the sea strand,

(A soldier cleans and polishes a gun)

Then she'll be a true love of mine.

(Sleeps unaware of the clarion call)

Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather,

(War bellows blazing in scarlet battalions)

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;

(General order their soldiers to kill)

And gather it all in a bunch of heather,

(And to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten)

Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

Remember me to one who lives there.

She once was a true love of mine.

Simon & Garfunkel

OUR SON: Michael J. Davison Born Dec. 21, 1971

Tammy and Michael - Engagement Picture

Marissa Lorraine Davison Born Feb. 7, 2007

Marissa Lorraine Davison Born Feb. 7, 2007
Marissa Lorraine Davison Born Feb. 7, 2007

Desiree Sue Davison - Born May 29, 2009

Beany and Cecil

Let me know about your "About Me" page and I will visit it.

What's Your "About Me" Page Like - What's on your menu?

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    • profile image

      Ibidii 3 years ago

      Great lens and brought back a lot of memories! I an four years younger than you, so some of the things I do not recall. I am sorry for the loss of your brother and sister Jackie. Your grand daughter is cute! :)

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 4 years ago

      What a great lens. I just finished reading Susan Orlean's Rin Tin Tin -- did you know that the original Rin Tin Tin's owner/trainer, Lee Duncan, was a neighbor of yours in Riverside during the years the show was airing?

    • blue22d profile image
      Author

      blue22d 6 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Thanks for stopping by. I love reading your work, especially your articles.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Wow this encompasses your whole life. What a wonderful portrait of you. Best wishes.

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      Donnette Davis 6 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you for sharing.

    • blue22d profile image
      Author

      blue22d 6 years ago

      Thanks Wedding Mom for stopping by. This lens was fun to make. Now I am going over to check out some of yours.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 6 years ago

      I love reading your lens. Childhood is indeed one of the phases of our lives that is most treasured! We all have stories to tell and you did a marvelous job of telling it. Great Lens

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      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      We shared a lot of the same memories and experiences. I am 3 years older than you. American Bandstand was one of my favorites.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      Oh my gosh! I lived in Riverside for 14 years. All of my daughters were born there. I was also born near Covina, but not there but my Uncle did live there for many years. I moved to Oregon. Don't miss Riverside much, but I do miss So CA and all of my relatives are still there in cities like Escondido and Sun City.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Enjoyed reading your story. There are sad moments but life is such. I still am thinking of doing one. Am also a cancer...so I stay inside my shell most of the time.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Ah, you triggered many of my baby boomer memories. What a fun lens. It has my mind churning over making one like this someday.

    • blue22d profile image
      Author

      blue22d 6 years ago

      Welcome Susanna, how delightful that you stop in. It is so much fun to hear from people around the world...isn't the Internet wonderful. I just got back from my walk with Buddy our dog. We are in Eagle Mountain, Utah...snow all around and it is beautiful to see. Yes, so far apart but still close because of amazing technology.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I thoroughly enjoyed reading this over my cup of tea this morning. You're younger than I am, a whole 3 months younger! How small the world really is, although we grew up on opposite sides of it, we share a lot of life events.We watched the same TV shows too

    • blue22d profile image
      Author

      blue22d 6 years ago

      Oh, thank you so much for the "angel blessing". It is very nice to receive it and I am so happy you enjoyed the journey through my lens. Thanks again.

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 6 years ago from Quezon City

      it was lovely to see your pictures growing up and meeting you through this lens. I love how you incorporated special moments in your life with bits of pop culture and memorabilia from that decade, it made me feel like I was there. Leaving a well-deserved ~angel blessing~

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      You haven't changed a bit!

    • MagpieNest profile image

      MagpieNest 6 years ago

      A really interesting glimpse into your past.

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      Love it~ What a super collection for your life lens. You've inspired me to do one.....someday, lol! Thanks!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      This lens brings back so many memories - favorite toys and games, tv shows and the difference in lifestyle we had then compared to now. This lens would be a great addition to Senor Geek Squids group (http://www.squidoo.com/groups/senior-squid-geeks) - please visit and join! 5*

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      poutine 7 years ago

      Very enjoyable lens about your life.

      You have a lovely family.

    • profile image

      Tarra99 8 years ago

      What a great lens Sandy - I enjoyed getting to know you better.

      Thank you for stopping by my breast cancer lens - I sincerely appreciate your comments, thoughts and prayers - know that you and Bruce are in my thoughts and prayers as well.

      Bruce is a few steps ahead of me with regards to treatment but if you ever need to talk about what's going on just contact me.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to JaguarJulie] Thank you for such a nice compliment and yes we Squidoo folks are lucky to have such nice and caring friends such as yourself and Papawu (I love this name). Thank you again for stopping by.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      I have totally enjoyed getting to know you and your family through this quite remarkable lens -- thank you for sharing with us. You have a great friend in Ken aka papawu.

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      Sherry Venegas 8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Enjoyed your lens. I am a baby boomer, also. I grew up in Compton, CA. and I don't think I heard about Riverside till 1967. My daughter is living there now. I had a Cootie game just like in your picture. Glad to meet and know you more, through this lens.

      Sherry

    • papawu profile image

      papawu 8 years ago

      This was a really fantastic lens telling us all about yourself. I was actually just doing some business in both Riverside and West Covina recently. I know the cities fairly well even though I, myself, am from the "LIKE OH MY GOD! San Fernado Valley." Also, I wanted to sayhow sorry I am about your brother. I don't know how close you two were since I guess I disappeared from your radar for awhile. He was still your brother though, so my condolences to you.