Sunday, May 17, 2009

Those Were the Days

My friend and fellow librarian, Cathy Nelson, tagged me with a meme. It’s called “Those were the days” and it began over at the Books, Bytes, and Grocery Store Feet Blog.

Since I've been around for quite a few years now, I have a LOT of memories to share. In the interest of brevity (and to highlight some previous posts), I'm responding with selected photos and blog links.

Children of my era were expected to spend a lot of time outdoors. We all had bikes, wagons, dolls and/or trucks...and big imaginations. A favorite game was the very non-PC "Cowboys and Indians," inspired by Saturday morning TV shows and Saturday afternoon matinees. My first heroes were cowboys, and that larger-than-life frontiersman, Davy Crockett.

School and church were a key element in our lives then, and, along with most of my friends, I sang in the choir. We gave two concerts a year, with a mixed program of show tunes and religious hymns. As a special treat one year, we were all taken to see The Sound of Music performed on Broadway, with Mary Martin as an unforgettable Maria. I'm not sure if I could still read Gregorian chant, but my choir experience gave me a wonderful heads up when I studied Latin in high school.

Every home I've ever lived in had a yard with lilac bushes. Their scent brings back memories of ragged childhood bouquets for mom and shady spots for playing, reading, and dreaming.

Birthdays were a special occasion, and we celebrated with fancy parties in our homes. Little girls wore their best dresses and shiny patent leather shoes. Frilly little baskets held nuts and sweets; cake and ice cream were served on the dining room table, with lemonade or, a rare treat, soda. We played games, and gifted the birthday child with paper dolls, board games, and outdoor toys. Sometimes there was a shiny new bike; children's books were only available in hardcover, and were treasured accordingly.

Ah, yes...books! Although they didn't have a lot of money when starting out married life, my parents always made sure there were books in our house. A voracious reader, I worked my way through the great illustrated children's classics: The Brothers Grimm, Pinocchio, Robin Hood, Heidi. Some of the stories were difficult to comprehend (Collodi's Pinocchio is quite different from Disney!) but I devoured them all. When I was in the upper elementary grades, I biked to the local public library with friends; during my high school years, the Troy Public Library provided an interesting assortment of novels and short stories, usually from the adult section, since YA literature was not yet a real literary genre. My love of reading began early; it has never left me.

That's a sampler of memories, enough, I think, for a meme response. I invite any who stop here to contribute bits of their personal history. We could create an interesting memory quilt, an everyman's history book.


A Keeper's Jackpot said...

As an only child, I read a lot too! I still enjoy playing outside :)

Anonymous said...

I didn't know every house you've made a home had a lilac bush. How wonderful!

...oh my goodness, I just realized the same could be said of me.

Always happy to notice Diane-ish-ness in my life!


diane said...

Well, ladies, I'm very happy to have two such sweet and literate females in the family *hugs*