Life in the '50s & early '60s_My Friend Vincent
Some sixty years ago found us playing ever day
As long as I can remember, Vincent Cowan was my best buddy. I guess we were maybe 7 or 8 years old and we played together every day. I was the youngest in my family having two older brothers and an older sister, while Vincent was the first child in his family just having one younger brother. Some sixty years ago found us playing ever day in the summers with our favorite little cars & trucks building roads and villages passing the time and greatly enjoying ourselves as young boys with nothing but time on our hands did. The summer times during summer vacation I remember better than the days at school even though we attended the same school; I must have been a year or two ahead of my friend Vincent.
Vincent and I were the ‘bestest’ of buddies
Besides lunch and supper we would play each day starting soon after breakfast and not coming in until our moms would have to call us in as the dark of night would overtake the light we needed to see. Some times we would play hide and seek with other kids in the neighborhood, but Vincent and I were the ‘bestest’ of buddies. You know, I can’t remember a time he was not home for us to play each day during those early summers.
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We never fought, but I do remember arguing some
As boys, we liked to climb trees and would challenge each other to see who could climb the highest. There was never a time that Vincent out climbed me. I think he must have been a little afraid of heights or something. He also didn’t run as fast as I did. Vincent was always a little heavier than I was, but I could still pick him up. We never fought, but I do remember arguing some. Competition and trying to outdo each other seemed to be our largest obstacles. I remember once we argued over who got the best milk. Back then milk was delivered early in the mornings often before either of us woke up. But one day I was up real early and I notice the milkman stopping at both Vincent’s and my house… we got milk from the same dairy.
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those clamps held tight on our dress shoes
I remember one summer we both got roller skates, you know the kind that you had to wear clamped to your dress shoes (the ones you wore to church each Sunday) because they had hard soles for the skate clamps to fit on. Those old skates had adjustments that could be closed down tight over the hard soles so they didn’t come off as you skated. We took good care of our skate keys and were careful to never lose them or else we wouldn’t be able to get the skates off our Sunday shoes. I remember mom showing me how to polish those little shoes on Saturday nights so I would have them ready for church the next day.
"don’t let the grass grow under your feet gettin’ here”
Something else I recall about those summer days at play, we could always tell what everyone in the neighborhood was having for supper. There was no such thing as air conditioning when we were kids so our parents would just throw open the windows hoping to catch a breeze to air the houses out. Usually the moms would start cooking early so supper would generally be ready when our dads would get home from work each day. The aromas of all the food would fill the air and we often got hungry just smelling the delicious treats being prepared. I remember when my mom cooked liver & onions that Vincent always said he wish he lived with me because it always smelled so good. He said he had beans a lot of the times and I remember we all did back then. As we played, we managed to keep one ear open so we could always hear our moms calling us in for supper. “Sammyeee, it’s time to come in and get washed up for supper… and don’t let the grass grow under your feet gettin’ here.” As best as I remember, she usually didn’t have to call a second time…
© 2010 SamSonS