Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Our Town

What a wonderful town to grown up in. The town, even then  had concentrations of ethnic populations and although concentrated for support as many newcomers arrived after the war, were never exclusive. Each street in town read like a map of the world…. Irish, Scots, Chezcholovakians, Polish, French, English, Chinese, and people from many mid-eastern European nations. And, we ultimately all spoke the same language; even the elderly who found a new tongue difficult.

Yearly celebrations were wonderful because as children you learned to appreciate so many different cultures and celebrations. One Christmas I shared ‘blood sausage’ with a friend on the street. When I spoke of this in our church I was dressed down for consuming ‘blood’. Never quite understood the dressing down; my friend wasn’t a cannibal. Ah well, little differences did occur, but not among we children.

Every evening after chores were done we’d gather in the street for summer games of red rover, knock the can, hide’n’seek, blind man’s buff or skipping. The back field behind where I lived was the gathering place for older boy’s baseball games. An abandoned barn on a street away was the perfect place to climb and swing from a rope to bales of hay below. Summer swimming in the river or small lake in town; picnics in the park or backyard. My parents were leery of lakes and rivers….so my younger siblings got to swim in a square metal washtub in the backyard. I, would sneak away to the rivers, lakes and streams.

Winter months were such fun…..angels in the snow, pie-tag in the backyard, building forts, snowball fights and every school included a skating rink. Properly boarded round, with a skate shack to change into skates and warm up by a pot belly stove. The rinks were maintained by the school custodian staff. We had a yearly skating carnival where all parents came, inter-school hockey games, or just hockey games at one end of the rink with the girls using the other end. So after evening chores we either skated or headed for the nearest incline to sled. If one didn’t have a sled…a cardboard box was perfectly acceptable.

It didn’t matter what equipment one used….goalie pads were often Sears or Eaton catalogues tied round the knees with twine. Sledding comprised whatever one had; some bob sleds having been built with scarp found at the local dump site, skates were usually hand-me-downs or second hand. There were no ‘organized’ sports other that inter-school sports; no output of cash was required of any family. Everyone with a willing heart could join in the games.  Our games were what they should have been....for the children, to have fun and grow by experience!

This blog is linked to description of painting used here:-

1 comment:

  1. Great momories Ruby that take me back and fill me with memories. But I will keep them in my mind I too have to think about my blog. Thanks for the great read and start to the day.