Friday, December 1, 2017

Under Twelve

Back then…Memories When I Was Under 12.

I once had a beautiful doll with blonde curly hair and a yellow organza tiered dress embellished with yellow satin ribbons. I had her for many years. She was a Christmas gift from my mother’s best friend. I never played with any other dolls besides her and my Kewpie.

My metal roller skates had a key that I kept on a shoelace tied around my neck and the sidewalk was a good place for me and my friends to skate. We had to wear tough old shoes to clamp the skates to and the strap around the ankle was leather.

Stilts were made by my dad and to get on them and walk, I had to be on the third stair of the front porch to take off down the sidewalk.

There was a war going on in the 40’s and were encouraged to save dimes in the school program of saving. On Mondays the teacher would pass out our savings books that had about 187 spaces each one just the right size to fit a stamp. IF you had a dime that day you would buy a stamp, put it in the book and the teacher would then collect the books and save them until the next Monday. When (IF) the book was full, you could add a nickel and get a war savings bond. 

There were many air raids and drills in those years and when one happened during school time, we marched single file to the school  basement, sat on the floor with our heads resting on our knees and our arms around our heads and not ever daring to make a sound. The cellar heating pipes were completely covered in white asbestos. The floor was hard and cold but we were not to complain because we were “safe.”

Our home cellar furnace boiler was covered in asbestos and I remember drawing my name with my fingernail into it. My brother did the same.

My brother and I were allowed to melt lead from a kit and then pour it into molds to make toy lead soldiers. There were pungent fumes that rose from the hot melting pots that burned our noses. This was all done on the home cellar concrete floor. We had many soldiers. 

We used to get excited when a mercury thermometer would break by “accident” because we could play with the mercury, letting it roll around in the palm of our hands and we even coated pennies with it. In fact today, I still have a few mercury amalgam tooth fillings and I'm not worried about them one bit!

When the steam radiator in our bedroom caused frost to form on the inside windows it created the most beautiful ferns and sparkling shapes. We would fingernail scratch our own designs right over the existing ones.

An old thickly padded rocking chair in the living room was my horse. My brother and I would each get on an arm and rock away. The card table with a sheet over it was our hut. 

In the late 40’s I had a can of some plastic goop and wire. The idea was to shape a petal or leaf, dip it into the goop and then let it dry by poking the “stem” into a piece of floral foam. The next step was to paint each piece with a special paint. When there were enough petals and leaves then it all could be twisted together and the stalk wrapped with green tape. The picture below reminded me of the hours I spent making flowers. The activity was apparently rejuvenated in the 60’s or 70’s and my daughters made them too.

These were my formative years and sometimes I think the things I did made me a bit different from others, because I engaged in both good and dangerous activities for a young child. I wouldn’t have it any other way if I were given a choice today.
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  1. Those were interesting memories.

  2. I remember the mercury in the thermometers!! And yes, we used to play with it. The roller skates with a key...I was there with you on your sidewalk.

    You made remember one thing that we'd do in Colorado...and yes, my brother was not old enough to have a D L...but he would hitch my sled up to the car's bumper and he would get in and drive the car down the street...with me on the sled, behind. Oh, the good ol' days.