Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - In the Summertime!

Randy says 
Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):
1) It's the first day of Summer 2014, so let's talk about what we did as children (not teenagers or young adults) on our summer vacations from school.  
2)  Write about your life as a child in the summertime (say, any age between 5 and 12).  Where did you live, what did you do, how did it influence the rest of your life?
3)  Write your own blog post, or leave a comment on this post, or write something on Facebook or Google+
When I was in first grade, my family moved from Chicago to west suburban Elmhurst.  We had a large yard, front, back and side.  There were lots of kids in the neighborhood and summer evenings found us playing games like Red Light Green Light, Red Rover, Mother May I and Frozen Tag in the yard.  The whole neighborhood played but the rule was when the street lights go on it is time to go home.   When I visited my Oak Park cousins, they also had a large yard and lots of kids around so we played Fruit Basket Upset.   We played mostly with my cousins and their neighbors the Monacos.
During the day there were so many things to do that we were never bored.  The city park just one block away had free tennis lessons, free ballet lessons, and concerts under the stars. 
Elmhurst Public Library
google images

 The park also was the home of the city library which had a wonderful summer reading program.    The children's librarian was Mrs Zimmerman and she was always cheerful and kind.  The local elementary school (then called a grade school) would hold handicraft classes in the mornings where you could but a craft kit for $.10 to $1.00 and learn how to do it.  Some of the things we could do included lacing a comb holder or coin purse, some wood working, or painting.

When I got older we were allowed to ride our bikes across town to the other large city park where there was a pool that offered a summer pass in addition to swimming lessons.  Going to the pool meant that after lunch it was time to grab a swimsuit and roll it into a towel.  The rolled towel went into the bike basket.  Riding the bike across town to meet friends.  After we showed our season pool pass, we would head to the locker room.  There we would be issued a numbered basket which had a large metal, numbered pin on it.  The number on the pin matched the number on the basket.  After changing we would return the basket removing the pin and attaching the pin to our suit so we could reclaim our clothes and towel.  One year I actually took a Water Ballet class thinking I would become the next Esther Williams.
Rainy days my favorite thing to do was sit on the screened in front porch and listen to the rain and read my current book.  Some summer nights we would catch lightening bugs and put them in mason jars or peanut butter jars with air holes punched in the lids.  If we got enough it was a lantern!  
My children grew up in a smaller town but had many of the same summer activities in addition to little league.  It is amazing to see that the grands also do some of the same things.  There have been modifications over time of course but some things never change.