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.
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.
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
- 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