ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Memories

Updated on March 9, 2013

When kids were kids

Remembering how on sunny days we would fill up the little red wagon with a jumbo red and white Igloo Jug full of lemonade, a brown bag full of a dozen PB&J's, a dozen Apples, and a big bag of Cherry Licorice Whips.

7:00 o'clock in the morning and we were meeting the rest of the neighborhood gang at 7:30, at the park for an all day marathon of baseball. The only rule for the day was to be home before dark. Like dinner wasn't even important for us.

Rainy days it was the same routine except for half the sandwiches, half the apples, and only half the neighborhood gang. We were the fishermen. Always out for the kill with dreams of a full bucket of fish, and stories about how the big one got away.

Looking back on it, I realize now that my Mom was one PB&J making machine.

My flexible flyer runner sled in the winter. On our own private self constructed, groomed, repaired, and dangerous as all heck bobsled run. It went through 3 yards, and down 2 blocks alongside the roads edge. We calculated a full 1200ft. of curvy slicked up ice suicide. It didn't matter if it was 20 degrees below 0 windchill. We stayed out all day and all night, except for lunch and dinner. Apparently Mom felt that those meals were very important during the winter.

We climbed trees, built forts in trees, between trees, and underground. We chased girls with hands full of jumbo frogs that we scared them with. Sneaking our 1st kisses behind trees, in our forts, at the park, and behind the sheds.

My Schwinn Fastback banana seat bicycle with the chopper handles and a fat slick rear tire. Playing cards fastened to the front wheel fork with clothes pins to give our rides that extra menacing sound. That bike my life-line to the rest of the world.

Having to wait in line to use the phone while other brothers and sisters had their 30 minutes to catch up, and make plans with their friends. Hoping that my turn was not cut short by bedtime coming around.

Saturday Night Creature Features with Vincent Price, leaving us so scared we were afraid to close our eyes when it came time to going to sleep. The Hand, The Fly, Lon Chaney movies messing with our heads.

Bike rides to the local general store for our candy supplies. Giant Jaw Breakers, Giant Pixie Stix, Slo-Pokes, Wax Soda Bottles, Candy Buttons on Paper Tape, Milk Duds, Malted Milk Balls, Charms Lollipops and Blow Pops seemed to always top the list. Me being the strange kid who loved to get these little packs of cinnamon flavored toothpicks to chew on while on the ball field.

Collecting Baseball Cards, Beer Cans, and stories about how we made our greatest latest finds. Trading wasn't a big thing for us, it was all about the collecting and bragging rights over what was found.

Television shows like Lassie, Lone Ranger, Cisco Kid, Flash Gordon, Andy Griffith, Combat, Batman, Get Smart, Gilligan's Island, F Troop, Green Acres & McHales Navy. While in Chicagoland we had local favorites Ray Rayner with Cuddly Duddly and Chalveston the Duck. Frazier Thomas playing his jaw harp with Garfield Goose. Family Classics (also hosted by Frazier Thomas) that showed classic movies like Black Beauty, Old Yeller, Brians Song, Sink the Bismark, and all the John Wayne movies that were out at the time. Classic Cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn, Daffy Duck, Road Runner, Dudley Doorite, and Speed Racer.

Marathon Monopoly sessions, Rummy 500 with 3 decks of cards played by my brother and I while tented under our blankets at night with our flashlight. Playing Chess like we were Eddie Fischer and Boris Spassky, with our lives depending on victory. Checkers was for kids.

McDonald's, where my father would feed an army of neighborhood kids burgers, fries, and chocolate milk shakes for under $10.00.

Little league baseball the stage for us to be the local rock stars of our day. Uniforms so clean to start each game. Covered in sandy dirt to end it. Winning the game meant ice cream treats for the winners. While the losers walked to the parking lots with their parents while looking back at us with envy as we lined up for our reward. Not everybody got the rewards just for participating back then. Our rewards meant something.

Never resisting chores because we knew that Dad always treated us to a day of fishing on the boat, instead of off the shore the day after those chores were done. Fishing, fishing, fishing. Baseball, baseball, baseball. Creative playtime invented around every corner, at our every living moment.

Why did we do all these crazy things back then ?
Answer: No Nintendo

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      AWESOME JOB!!! I love how you ended with "Why did we do all these crazy things back then ? Answer: No Nintendo"

      I am so fortunate that my children enjoy the outdoors more than their electronic items that they mainly use after they had an adventure or two. This Hub had me reflect through my childhood...Well Done!!!

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thank You Patty !!! *blushes* Thank You Very Much !!!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I think I grew up in the same neighborhood during the same time....for me, though, it was baloney sandwiches and not P & J. Great times and never bored...in fact, we didn't' dare say we were bored or we would be doing chores.

      Great memories!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      cinnamon flavored toothpicks! "waxing' nostolgic on wax soda bottles and all things mentioned in this. Never was a baseball or fishing fan but lived a parallel life in another part of the country hanging at the park or each other's houses. Great, great post full of memories and fun!

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thank you Bill !, Thank you Bell !, Thank you both very much ! *smiles*

    • KevinC9998 profile image

      KevinC9998 4 years ago

      CriricalMessage: If I did not know better I would say I also grew up in the same neighborhood. You have definitely captured some "critical" moments in our early years. I especially enjoyed your hub since I also wrote a very similiar hub named "Brooklyn Youth". https://hubpages.com/literature/Brooklyn-Youth I totally agree with you that our lives and our foundations were formed differently than today's kids since we did not have the Nintendo's or other electronic media. Nice job and Voted Up and Awesome! Thanks, Kevin

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thanks A Lot Kevin... It was a simpler time for sure... But it wasn't lazy !

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Our childhoods were very similar. My second Stingray had a ten speed stick shifter on the exended length center bar, and caused more problems than what it was worth. I also recall the hours spent with plastic toy army men and cowboys & indians of which hours of fantasy battles took many lives, only to find them reincarnated for the next day's adventures. Great Hub!

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thanks Crumple !!! ~ I remember when I got the extended, extra tall, sissy bar for the seat of my Stingray.. It quickly turned into a baseball mitt carrier... I appreciate your recognition big time !

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 4 years ago from Canada

      Hey CM, This is so well written. Memories for sure...

      The smile did not leave my face the whole time I was reading - and remembering. I didn't grow up in Chicagoland, but a parallel universe.

      Ice rink out back that Dad would make by pulling a bunch of us around on a sled to pack down the snow, then building an ice ramp to slide down at a million miles an hour.

      Making a Batman cape out of an old black skirt my Mother had grown tired of, and racing around on the front lawn with friends yelling "Sock" "Bam" Pow" for hours on end.

      Getting 10 cents for doing some chores and going to Nick and Flo's for candy. Jaw breakers, yes, and Sweet Tarts and Pixi Stix.

      Catching bugs in jars. Skipping rope - double dutch and dolly dutch - till our little legs ached.

      And finally, hiding under the weeping willow at the end of the street at the end of the day, listening to Mom calling for us. Magic!

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thank you so very much Kaili !!!... 'Magic' is what it truly was.

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      My tenth Birthday was all about 'Batman'... Because I had been gifted the ever precious 'Bat Belt'... Remembering how I would use the bat hook and rope to swing from the staircase railings until I crashed into a wall so hard that my mom put an end to doing that trick anymore...

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      CM...

      As I read this I got one of those warm and fuzzy memories of Chicago as a kid...thank you for that! Do you remember "skitching" in the winter? --I almost died more than once playing THAT game!

      Great memories good sir!

      Thomas

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thanks Thomas !!!,, If you are talking about the 'skitching' where we would lock onto a bumper with an almighty grip as the car sped down the street and our leaning back on our heels the only thing on the ice for one hell of a ride ??.. I still have scars on my chin that show just how much I loved 'skitching'... giggles!

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Talk of 'Cuddly Duddly' is probably what caused your warm and fuzzies there Thomas.. lol

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      CM...

      LMAO...That is EXACTLY what I am referencing and you are the only person in 30+ years to know what I am speaking of...It must have been a Chicago thing! Yeah...I nearly lost a finger or two playing that game!

      Thomas

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      We used to fake injury to gain 10$ from cabbies cutting the corners too close to the curb where we would then scream a fake scream pretending our toes got run over only to have that cabby stop immediately in order to pay us off for our silence... No questions asked... Mom would wonder how we were able to afford all that candy the next day...

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      This is wonderful!! Didn't live in Chicago, but everything you mentioned is what we all did growing up, didn't we!?! This is soooo awesome.... Feel like screaming, lol, lol!!

      Yes, like others, I had a smile on my face too, as I read this..... Thanks CM! Voting up and everything!

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thank you so very much 'LT' !!! again, a simpler time was certainly more authentic and pleasurable in my eyes too. *smiles*

    • profile image

      LikaMarie 4 years ago

      Atari had just came out when I was a preteen, and we were always the only house w/o, or the last to get the newest gadgets... We were in the former.

      I remember how the other girls in the neighborhood thought I was not much of a girl, because I'd rather play ball with the boys, and I could bait my hook with a big fat worm as well, and fish. It didn't matter what I did or didn't catch.

      My sister and I rode our bikes out about 12 miles one way to the lighthouse... it was crazy. But you know, those childhood adventures only happen once, why keep it inside where it's only in fantasy land? I take care of disabled people, and they wish they could have had the opportunities we did. Enjoy.

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thanks for stopping by Marie.. It is nice to see that this inspired you to share some of your memories too.. Silly kids!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      We must have lived in the same town, Ha..Everything sounds so familiar. Those were the good old day's..Great hub..

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thank You Ruby ! *smiles*

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Oh, those carefree happy days, before the electronic revolution. It's so good to revisit such beautiful fun memories. An enjoyable read.

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thank You Jo ! *blushes*

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      An enjoyable read, and refreshing sweet memories, you make my day, voted up.

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thank You Girish !!! Thank you Very Much !!! *smiles*

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Such nostalgia is in the hub that it could take me to my time among '...Covered in sandy dirt to end it...'. Though it was very different to your CM, but we all grown up kids had some wonderful time for sure which is now so utterly memorable. Very nicely delicious may be like the Mc Donalds burger you had. Though we never had the burgers in our childhood but then there were always Phooskas, Bhel puris and many different fruits under the trees during the hot summer and pleasing winter afternoons. Anyway its a nice journey down the memory lane, friend:-)

      All votes up ans sharing as well!

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thank you 'dgh'... Thank you Very Much !!!,,, Yes, I like to believe that we all have similar experiences that we can relate to.. No matter where we have resided in this world of ours.. *smiles*

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

      I love your extraordinary Hub. Thank you for this reading pleasure.

      Yes, we did climb trees and build many a fort. I kick myself now because of all the baseball cards and comic books I collected when I was a boy that somehow got away from me as a teenager. Nobody told me they were one day going to be so valuable. I guess no one foresaw that one.

      I loved the Andy Griffith Show so much that I recently rented the entire series and then wrote a Hub about it.

      Garfield Goose and Family Classics. Growing up as I did in St Joe Michigan I never missed these wonderful programs.

      And I played a ton of monopoly as a boy and I still play Rummy 500 today!

      I sure appreciate your marvelous article.

      James

    • CriticalMessage profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Thanks you so very much James, for your kind and considerate recognition... Oh boy, if I only had that baseball still... The one that had Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins, Ken Holtzman, Glenn Beckert, Don Kessinger, and Randy Hundley's autographs on it... I can only imagine the value on a ball with 5 Hall of Famers signatures on it... But as a kid?,,, The game must go on... And we needed a ball that day in order to make that happen.. My Dad almost fainted when he saw the ball all torn up from our using it that day... Maybe he should have explained its potential to us... Maybe he should have hid it on us... But then he asked "Did you win?"... And with pride we got to report to him that we had won... He smiled....

    Click to Rate This Article