Friday, April 17, 2015

Home Free Part 2

Since several readers aren't familiar with the game I mentioned in the first part, I've described it here. I think we made it up!
Explanation of Children's Game:

The sing along:

Johnny drilled a HOLE
in the telephone POLE
their finger IN!

One kid either volunteers or is chosen to be Johnny and another kid either volunteers or is chosen to be the telephone pole.

The telephone pole kid puts his head, covering his eyes, on his folded arms while leaning forward on the real telephone pole. 

The Johnny kid goes round and round in a circle shape with his index finger on the middle of the telephone pole kid's back while the surrounding group sings the chant.

When Johnny gets to the point in the song where they all shout IN! someone from the group gives a hard poke on the telephone pole kid's back. 

The telephone pole kid turns around and has to guess who poked. If he guesses correctly, then the poker kid has to be the pole and the pole kid gets to be Johnny. This goes on until the telephone pole kid guesses correctly who poked him. 

Every time they start over, they all sing and take turns being the poker.
(The telephone pole kid will have a very sore back if he can't guess the poker after many pokes!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~You may be wondering why I am writing about my experiences between the age of 9 and 13. The explanation is simple. I feel compelled to put them in writing to free my mind. They will linger there and annoy me until I do this. These memories will then return to their deep and dark recesses because they have now been released. Living in the present will return and peace will dwell here.

I don’t want you to think of my neighborhood in any way negatively. It was not in a city, it was not suburbia as it is known today. Our life and customs were very much country or “rural.” When I refer to street, it was a narrow, tar and gravel paved road that fronted our homes. 

A bit down the road was a good sized dairy farm. “Hollow Hill Farm” was thoroughly gone through and we often played in the hayloft. Through the back of the block we could venture into a large horse pasture where a hackney horse farm was located. At “Seton Hackney Farm” we played in the pastures and the stream.

Up the other way of the main road was a local dump which we delved into often, finding “treasures” to bring home. Next to the dump was a large pond for fishing and ice skating. Next to the pond was the firehouse. Behind the firehouse, was a rough curvy path with exposed tree roots to hop over. It led through the woods and fields to our school. We walked and ran to and from school taking this shortcut. 

Directly across from the beginning of my street were acres of woodland - deep and dark and enticing. We explored them thoroughly and played “war” among the fallen logs and trees. 

The house I grew up in was a three bedroom two-story frame home built in 1929. I'll wager that my parents didn't pay more than $2,000 or less for it in 1939 when we moved there. The average cost of a new house in '39 was $3,800!   source 
In 2007 It sold for $485,000!!!!!!! Here are Google photos of it in September 2013. 

It used to have a huge maple tree in the front yard and barberry bushes lined the sidewalk. Climbing the tree and jumping the bushes were actions performed by all of the gang. Behind the garage we had chickens and rabbits in large coops. They weren't pets - they were future dinners. The neighbor next door had pigeons galore in a wire cage that went over the entire backyard and was attached to the trees. All neighbors had a dog or a cat or several of each. We knew where puppies and kittens came from.

The home at the end of the street had a large Beech tree that endured our activities. We nailed steps to the trunk, had nailed board “rest areas” and attached pulley ropes for mothers to send up foods in the bucket kept at the bottom. We often climbed very high and it was an easy venture as the limbs were very accommodating. Sometimes there were four of us all up there together. We carved our initials in its bark.


  1. a sweet home. glad you could explore the farm and even the dump. kids need that!

  2. Your house and neighborhood is similar to where I grew up minus the chickens and pigeons. There weren't many wooded areas in my neighborhood but we actually have much wooded areas in my city. I'm glad they set these areas aside all those years ago.
    Another good post.
    I'm playing catch up here on Blogger.