Growing up in the fifties

To many people living today, the nineteen fifties and sixties seem like ages ago.  For those of us who grew up in that time, it seems like only yesterday.

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This is a picture of me and my brothers, Fred, Andy and the baby, David.  I also had another older brother, Jack and an older sister, Joanne.  We all lived in the little house in the background on our daddy’s farm. It had no air conditioning, no central heating and NO bathroom.  Just think, six kids and NO bathroom.   We kids didn’t have a room to ourselves either until some started leaving the nest  Anyway, it must have been Easter because Fred is holding a paddle ball.  We always got paddle balls in our Easter baskets.  Look at those rolled up jeans.  The height of fashion in those days. I’ve never seen a dog mug for the camera like that one was doing.  Can’t remember his name, but he sure is grinning.

It was an idyllic  childhood.  At least it was for me.  There was always something to do and animals to play with.  There were, of course dogs and cats and kittens in the barn, cows chickens, ducks, pigs and at one time a little old ram I raised for 4-H and later a horse that my brother helped me get when I was around twelve or thirteen.

During the summers we never stayed inside for a minute.  In fact, Mom shooed us outside right after breakfast and we stayed outside until dinner at noon and then back outside we would go again until supper.  The only time I spent in the house was when I was helping Mom clean the house or do dishes or when I was sewing on her Singer sewing machine.


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See that big wrap around porch behind us?  Also see my little brother’s droopy drawers?  We use to roller skate on it, the porch, not the droopy drawers.   I was so happy when I finally got my first pair of skates.  You know, the kind with a key you had to tighten over your shoes..  I also spent hours on that porch swinging back and forth on the swing as I read one of the many books I got at the library.  In the evenings we would sit outside swinging and listen to the adults as they talked about the day.  Sometimes we would play hide and go seek or kick the can.  We played a game my brothers made up called  Battle Station.  You see, we lived on a very little traveled gravel road so at night if or when a car would go by and if we kids were out in the yard one of my brothers would yell, “Battle station!” and we would all run and hide.  We also looked for flying saucers.  Mom was always seeing them or at least she made us believe she saw them.  Sometimes as we sat on the porch, bats would fly around above us.  I didn’t like that so well.   I watched the Aurora Borealis from this porch with Mom one evening when the atmosphere was just right and they appeared farther south than usual.


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See that old watering trough?    The cows drank out of it.  That is how close the house was to the barnyard.  One time I got into the trough to cool down.  My mother was not happy I did that, but I was hot.  I love the picture of that old car.  I’m not sure whether that was ours or if we had visitors that day.  Seems like we had a lot of visitors especially at meal times because my mother was such a good cook.

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This is me and my baby brother, David.  I guess my parents weren’t too afraid of me swinging from so high up.  I just wonder how I got up there.  We always had a dog around. Guess that is why I always like having dogs.  This one seems to be standing guard by David.  Daddy probably made this swing set and the little swing David sits in.  What’s with my hair?  Mom always was giving me home permanents and the frizzier they were the better.  I would come out of her home “salon” looking like Harpo Marx.  I had curls that lasted for months. People always knew when Mom had been doing my hair.  I quit having permanents years ago.  Free at last.


Whew, I had to get out of that black and white world and get some color into this blog.  Wonder when the world turned from black and white to color?  Hmmm.  There are many tales to tell about living on the farm, like the two men who my brothers heard talking in the barn.  How I almost burnt down the rabbit house.  Whoops, maybe I better keep that one quiet.  Or the time the bull chased me or the time I jumped off something in the barn and ran a nail into my foot or……. well, these stories will just have to wait for another day.  Bye.






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