Sunday, May 22, 2011

a childhood

I suspect you may feel like me, assuming you are past a certain age. I wish I could remember more of my childhood. I recall older uncles and aunts telling me to “enjoy it while you’re young” and “don’t be in a hurry to grow up”. I don’t remember anyone saying write it all down because you’ll forget most of it or take more pictures.

Some of the kids of today will have the benefit of a blogger parent. Years from now when they say “I don’t remember that” their parent can text them a link.

Thank goodness we had some pictures taken of us. I’ve scanned many of them but it is time consuming.

Jillsy Girl has challenged us to blog about childhood. She is a queen of challenges. I only know her from her blog(s) so I don’t know if she’s a card or game player but I can only imagine the challenges she presents to anyone passing by.


Here’s a picture from my childhood. It’s not me or my brother. It’s a neighbor party guest at one of our birthdays. I don’t know if he was enjoying himself that day (maybe we shorted him on the cake?). I’m really glad someone took the picture and saved it for me to scan one day.



Here's a picture of my older brother, me and a stuffed monkey. It was a great stuffed monkey that lasted and my brother turned out OK too.





Ok how about a childhood story?  Do we need definitions here?  Childhood for this post is up to legal driving age (16). Illegal driving is one of my other childhood memories.



Tribune archive photo - I don't know these good looking people but I remember the ride - the wild mouse


Chicago's Riverview was more of a carnival that just didn't leave town. It had a midway with games and freak shows. Riverview closed in 1967, it was due to change.  Some speculate that the social changes pushed the owners into selling the property.  I was just a kid with hopes that might span a summer at best so don't ask me about companies from back then.

The favorite rides I can remember
  • wild mouse
  • water chute
  • parachute drop
  • Bobs 
  • Fireball
  • Flying Turns

then we started walking

Riverview was the big time amusement wonderland for a Chicagoland kid in the sixties. I'm not sure how many times I had been there. Not many. I grew up in town 30 plus miles away from that northwestern part of Chicago.

My last trip there is fixed very well in my memory because of the stupid idea I tried that night.   I don't recall the names of my buddies that night, but for this telling of the story I'll use Jack and Sam.  We were hormone charged teenage boys.  Boys whose brains don't work so well all the time.  Maybe it was the dizzy fast rides.

A convincing reason my parents agreed to my trip out of town was because it was sponsored by a Church youth group. Jack and I knew each other but not real well. We lived in different neighborhoods but knew each other from school. On this trip that didn't matter because Jack was cool and hanging with him could only help my uncoolness.

At the park we connected with Sam. Sam knew others in the youth group but he had traveled to the park with his family.

I don't recall which one came up with the brilliant idea but I know I agreed it was a great the best plan of the night.

The idea - Jack and I would skip the youth group bus ride home and get a ride with Sam. This would give us extra time and rides at the park.

Trying to recall the event now, I'm puzzled why we didn't keep close contact with Sam after our plan was launched. Also, now I wonder if Sam even asked his parents.  It didn't matter we had a plan.

The last call for the bus went out on the park speakers. Jack and I just smiled and started counting our extra bonus time. The big decision at hand was what ride should we hop on next.

It wasn't that long before the place had all but emptied out, lights started to turn off, and we were still looking for Sam. We didn't want to believe his car was gone, but it was.

So we left the park in the middle of the night. I guess it might of been about 1 AM. Of course, we didn't have much money left by now.

We headed south down Western Ave. which became emptier and emptier. Most everything was closed except the bars.  (if I knew then what I know now about bars and drunks I might have been scared)  Ignorance is bliss.

I don't know how far we walked but I guess a few miles. Jack refused to call his parents. Finally, I had walked enough, it was late enough, and I had enough. The adventure wasn't much fun anymore.  My feet hurt.

I called home (from a bar or gas station) - talked to my mom and then my dad. I should have recorded notes on that conversation because memory of it fades over time and it would be interesting to read now. Today my dad's reply could be shorted to WTF (maybe an added "wrong with you").

Dad drove up in the middle of night and rescued us from a long journey home (probably 25 miles and a few rivers). He was upset but not as much as I expected maybe he understood teens are prone to dumb things. I never thanked him enough for that ride - I wish I could now.

Oh my OK older brother - my dad dragged him along to join in the rescue.  I think he was willing because he wanted to see the punishment.

Today the internet provides good resources for remembering those past memories.

here's a link to some old pictures

40 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I think it's situations like this that cell phones were invented.

Barbara said...

 What a great memory - it's amazing to me how calm my own parents were about some of our 'misadventures'. I wish I could say I was as understanding with my own kids. And ditto what Kristina said :)

lisleman said...

a cellphone would have taken the adventure out of it.  My luck I would have dropped the phone out on a roller coaster.  Life did go on without cellphones.
thanks

lisleman said...

I guess ditto on my reply to her also.  Calm parents - that's an interesting subject.  My father was not all that calm.  Explosive at times.  He did enjoy helping so maybe it was the rescue nature of the thing that kept him simmered not boiled that night.  I wish my older sister blogged because she has some really great ones about boyfriends and such.  So you think parents are more wound-up today than in the past?  There is more fear pushed on parents today than in the past.  thanks I didn't even think about going this deep on this story.

Lady Fi said...

Great memories that brought a smile to my face. It's only so much later on that we realize we have so much to thank our own parents for.

Bearmancartoons said...

That monkey must have been popular in the day.  I remember getting that as a hand me down from my older brothers.  Loved that damn monkey.

Jillsy Girl said...

 I grew up with three brothers and there was only one of them who would get himself into trouble, "the trouble kid", in other words.  His best adventurers happened when I was in college (his teenage years), so unfortunately I never got to see my parents first reactions to his shenanigans. I only got to receive the re-hashed version which is never as good. ;-) 

Great post Lisle!  Thanks for linking up!

missing moments said...

Great post!  Our childhoods are so different from the kids today in some regards.  I think we were a lot more innocent and naive, which wasn't so bad. I like Jillsy's assignment and hope to get something done as well!

Thisstopwilloughby said...

That's a great story!  Isn't it funny how clever we thought we were as kids?  My kids don't realise I can smell a BS story from a mile away because I was once a kid, too!   

lisleman said...

I have heard that siblings take on roles and sometimes the trouble role appears to be the easier one to claim.  My siblings and I all did OK in the end.  thanks

lisleman said...

Yes you are right about that.  The other truth you probably know is how your parents advice becomes so correct after you mature.  They go from idiots while you are a teen to geniuses during your twenties.  thanks

lisleman said...

fond memories but don't love the monkey too much.  thanks

lisleman said...

Different - so true.  I don't know if it is just a generation change effect that happens through time.  I must believe parents of the roaring twenties were saying "these damn kids now-a-days".  thanks

lisleman said...

Yes most kids don't.  I was careful about what stories from my past I would share with my kids.  Of course, a few of their adventures got by us, because only years later did we learn of some of our kids adventures.  thanks

OneStonedCrow said...

Hehe ... great story lisleman ... I love family gatherings where we recall our youthful escapades ... though I must admit that there are a few I wish people wouldn't remember ...

lisleman said...

 thanks - yeah we all a few of those.

Mrs4444 said...

To be honest, I'm glad I don't remember more of my childhood. And that's all I want to say about that. :)

I enjoyed your story. It's a classic. I'm glad you made it home safely :)

lisleman said...

I understand.  Life is not a bowl of cherries or the box of chocolates that Forrest Gump talks about.  It can be awful and scary.  I want to remember the fun stuff of childhood, not the bad or sad.  But I can catch myself bringing up  both at times.  thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the story.

Mary Elizabeth said...

I loved your trip down memory lane! My mother would definitely have called you a "bad boy".
My overprotective mother felt Riverview was the devil incarnate, therefore I was only there twice...one time without permission!
PlayLand (Morton Grove?) was allowed on special occasions.
I grew up at 87th and Blackstone, moved to 93rd and Stoney Island, and then we moved on up to the Beverly area. Seems like yesterday.

lisleman said...

I've been to the Beverly area with my wife.  She knows that area better than me.  We went there (last year?) to have a genuine rainbow cone.  It's a big childhood memory for her.  Riverview twice - I don't think I was there much more than that.  Maybe 4 times.  It sure was different than Disney don't you think?  thanks. 

secret agent woman said...

It never changes - kids are destined to do stupid things.

lisleman said...

yes I believe it has been proven over and over again.  thanks

Juana said...

Congratulations on being a finalist! I loved the story, it reminded me of my son and HIS great ideas!! You are so right, ignorance is bliss, what a scary situation to be in. I really never got in trouble when I was a child, but my sister sure did... my mother never used the WTF, but I am sure she said it many, many times in her mind. 
Thanks for the laughs.

lisleman said...

thanks for checking out the story and I'm glad to know you liked it and got a laugh.  thanks

unknownmami said...

The picture of the neighbor boy is so cute because he is frowning, but his eyes are smiling.

lisleman said...

I've completely lost all contact with that kid (he's older than me) but from what I remember he probably was making a face because someone said smile.  Oh the picture is cropped and there are others in the original picture.
thanks

lisleman said...

Hey - a pleasant/welcomed update (for me anyway) this post made it into the 5 finalist for Jillsy Girl's challenge.
Please vote - I have a suggestion for which one to vote for but really just vote - it's fun.
http://jillsygirl.blogspot.com/2011/05/its-time-to-cast-your-votes.html

Amy Sullivan said...

Clicked over from Saturday Sampling and I'm glad I did. I'm a former Chicago girl, who never experienced Riverview, but connected with your story and it made me miss my family up north.

I'll have to check out Jillsy girl's next challenge.

Nice "meeting" you.

KLo said...

What a neat post :-)  It's funny, because I was having a conversation with my middle school students recently that was of a very similar bend.  Basically, I remember very little of my early childhood beyond a camping trip my family took with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.  I was talking to my mother about why this was so, and she laughed and took out the photo album.  Pictures do help.  A lot :-)

As for a favorite childhood memory, I'd have to say in general days at the ocean with my brother and sister.  My family has a summer house on the beach, and when we were kids there was no television, we weren't allowed to call our friends because it was a long distance call, and it was just the three of us for entertainment.  We made up games, played cards on the screened in porch all night, swam all day (including my brother and I swimming out to the moored boats and unhooking them ... we really were holy terrors), collected cans and bottles and other trash on the beach (yes, really ... it really bothered us to see what slobs people were), caught crabs (that sounds really bad ;-)), watched fireworks, and a hundred other things. 

I truly believe that those summer days at the beach made my siblings and I closer than most siblings are (although I would never admit that to them :-))

Zemeks said...

It's fun to see the old pictures. I scanned in some of my old ones too.  That was quite a stunt you pulled--how very dumb of you! 

Stopping by from writer's workshop.

rebecca said...

Love the bow tie on the birthday photo and the roller coaster looks so dangerous.  I'm here from Saturday Sampling

lisleman said...

thanks for stopping by and sharing a comment.  I love roller coasters but I know many don't.

lisleman said...

Writer's workshop ?  Is this post in some workshop?  Thanks I always enjoy a direct blunt comment.

lisleman said...

siblings are one of the best gifts parents can give you.  Yeah I knew what crabs you were catching.  I remember catching crayfish, crawdads, they go by different names.  Thanks for sharing your story.  Have you done a post about these stories yet?

lisleman said...

thanks for clicking over and sharing a comment.  I means a lot to know people liked the post.

KLo said...

Actually, no ... I should, though :-)  I did happen to find an old pic today of myself and my sibs when we were acting like total buffoons at a photo shoot.  The photographer ended up kicking us out ... oh, my poor parents lol

lisleman said...

as long as you don't offend any of them - go for it.  I always use initials instead of names or maybe nicknames.  People do like to read about others that can relate to.  I'll be waiting to read it.

KLo said...

Yay :-)  Actually, anyone mentioned by name on my blog is given a pseudonym, a decision I reached when I started using my full name there.  Watch for it ... it'll be coming soon :-)

holdingmoments said...

I really enjoyed those memories. (came here via Jillys girl)
It seems 'kids' are the same the world over  lol

lisleman said...

yes I agree - thanks for stopping by and sharing a comment

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