Life in the 40s and beyond continued.
TV, Radio, talking box, Saturday morning, Big John and Sparkle, Howdy Doody, attic, trampoline, metal springs, swimming, Big ugly dog, Wonder Woman, lake, rocky point, beach, Rex, dawg,
We were so creative compared to kids today! There were no electronic things to entertain us. As a matter of fact, we didn’t even have a TV, they hadn’t been invented, and even if they had, we wouldn’t have owned one. I was glued to the “talking box” Saturday morning to listen to Big John and Sparkle, Howdy Doody, and more that I can’t remember.
Remember I talked about that big house we lived in on Middlesex Ave? I remembered one more thing about it that you will love. We played in the huge vacant attic, and it is a wonder that we didn’t fall to our demise because that was no door to prevent us from falling to the floor below. We got the brilliant idea of placing an old bed frame with the metal springs still mostly attached across the opening and using it for a Trampoline. It was a blast until Mom heard the racket and ended our fun. Parents are so weird! Oh, well, back to the drawing board.
We had some new people move into the apartment next to us, they were not the cleanest of people, and we weren’t supposed to play with them because Mom was sure they had lice. One of the kids kept coming over to our side, wanting to play with us. My brother told him to bug off, or he would “Unscrew his belly button and let his legs drop off! The kid looked up at him and said, “Ya ain’t got no screwdriver!” We did get several outbreaks of lice, but not sure where we got them.
I remember when “Wonder Woman came out in the theaters! I ran around all summer in a bathing suit with a towel tied around my neck! I got a job cleaning toilets at the theater for free tickets to the movies. I worked up until my appendectomy sidelined my work. That wasn’t big pay because, for 25 cents, you could get in and have popcorn and a drink. The guys at the Gazette used to save their quart bottle from their pop for me to return to get 5 cents refund.
We were allowed to walk to Wassokeag lake to go swimming. My brothers were supposed to “watch” me. They did! They taught me to swim. They used the tried and true method, throw me in the water and holler, “Sink or Swim!” They loved to go swimming at Rocky Point, a rock ledge with deep water, so they could jump or dive in and swim back to climb up. I couldn’t swim and wanted to go to the beach area to play in the shallow water. Nope! So I just sat on the ledge and bawled. They finally got tired of listening to me and threw me as far out as they could. I drank a lot of water and screamed when I surfaced; I saw them laughing their ass off! I’d like to think they would have pulled me out, eventually, but I am not sure. When I was getting tired and about ready to give up, my dog Rex jumped in and swam out to me, I grabbed his tail, and he pulled me to the ledge. NO, I never told on them.
My dog Rex was what my Dad called a “Dawg,” that is, he was from a litter of unwanted pups that someone was giving away. Dad always paid the owner a dollar because he believed that it would be a “good dawg!” With Rex, he got his money’s worth. Everyone loved our huge lovable, gentle dog, and he had friends in all the stores; he frequently came home with a huge bone from one of the merchants. He was so tall that he could not walk under our table; that is, Mom let him in the house on the very few days. I don’t know what she was worried about; it wasn’t like we lived in a mansion! Until my Dad moved in, we suffered from the “Pot and Window” syndrome; think about it, and it will come to you.
Rex took on the responsibility of babysitter and protector for all three of us kids. We were free as the birds from June to September. We used to walk or ride our bicycles to the lake to go swimming. One day, we walked up the hill to go to the beach; about halfway up the hill, there was a boat rental. The man who owned it had a big nasty dog that always came running out barking, looking like he would take a bite out of us. We were scared of him, and he knew it. We usually avoided him by running as fast as possible by the business and nearly to the top of the hill. Most of the time, we avoided a confrontation. This day, Rex happened to be with us, and we didn’t pay attention to where we were until we heard the barking and, looking up, saw the head of the dog snarling! Before he could get close to us, Rex attacked him and didn’t stop until he was in his own yard. He was pretty proud of himself!
There were lots of hugs and kisses for Rex that day. He got his own ice cream cone.
Enough of our adventures for today, but stay tuned; more to come.