Well I just hit the big 59. I am staring directly at 60 and it leaves me breathless. I recently made a whirl wind pass through trip to Columbus, Ohio and passed by my old homestead( see 2 blogs down with pics). This blog is going to ramble some so bear with me as I jot down memories that I thought were gone. I drove by my old elementary school and through my old neighborhood. Nothing much has changed and I remembered a simpler time. I told my friend how when I was growing up it was not unusual to walk three streets over to visit my friends Susie and Sandy. I never felt scared after dark, no one tried to pick me up, I never knew anyone who had been kidnapped by a predator or even what a child molester was. It was funny but visiting brought back happy memories and those that had hurt. Each year during elementary school I went to Nancy Northrup's house for her birthday. Her father took us to the Jet's baseball game and we spent the night at her house. She had a doll called Pitiful Pearl and I can still see it in my mind's eye. When I passed by my elementary school I remembered Marta who lived across the street... I thought she was the most cool in my 6th grade class and I could see her as she was then. I remembered Debbie Curry who had a real swimming pool in her back yard. Debbie was covered in freckles and I was jealous because I didn't have any. I remember in 5th or 6th grade that Barb, Melanie and I had desks together and they got mad at me because I was horse crazy and that's all I talked about. I was extremely irritating and unknown to me for a time they took turns and wrote down everything I said( thank you Jesus they didn't have a tape recorder)and finally they "talked" to me and told me why they hated me. I cried that day and Marta asked me to her house after school and that made being snubbed by my desk mates tolerable and she told me the whole class thought that Barb and Mel were 'weird' and not to feel bad. I passed by the front of the school where we used to play 4-square. I was playing there the day President Kennedy was killed. I played with Patty Weigand as a child and was in awe of her fake silver Christmas tree that changed colors via a rotating color wheel. Patty got a Chatty Cathie talking doll one year and it flat killed me, I wanted one like that so badly. I remembered that after Astronaut John Glen went up Patty got a live chicken for Easter and called the damn thing John Glen. Scott Fortenbacher lived one street over and I wonder if he still has that Lionel Train set. The set up took up most of his basement, it was a guy thing but still pretty neat. I thought of Melanie(a different Mel) who got the first Beatles haircut and Betsy Hicks who had Friday slumber parties and couldn't eat peperoni pizza until after midnight because she was Catholic. We were poor and we couldn't afford many up to date clothes. In junior high school Sandy Kennard got "Villager" clothes and I was pea green with envy. Susie Loik had the coolest bedroom and played tennis in her bare feet. Susie and Sandy both had that "something" that made others want to be around them and I was glad that we were friends. We called our parents Mr. and Mrs. and we moved freely around each others homes. I was called Girt... I don't remember why... and in high school we wrote notes to each other daily(today we would have texted). I thought of my first real crush( NOT returned) in elementary school, his name was Bernie. I don't think I was particularly popular but I did manage to go to all three senior proms (Tom, Ray, and Randy in that order). I spent winters skating at Westgate Pond and summers swimming at Bender's pool (also called Hilltop). Our world was different then and better. There were rules and we obeyed them. If we didn't we got in trouble. Our parents did not expect the schools feed us and teach us manners. That was the job of our parents AND if we acted the ass we got it BAD at home. A note from the teacher was a guaranteed grounding. School was for education. We prayed in school and daily said the pledge. We didn't have the worry that indiscretions, real or imagined, would be put on YouTube or texted to the whole class. We sniped and gossiped about each other as girls will but it pretty much stayed in the neighborhood. I don't remember being really bullied nor was I mean. I think I just pretty much went with the flow. I was a Blue Bird, Campfire Girl and Girl Scouts and hated all of them. I took piano lessons from a neighbor, Miss Ruth Thatcher. Miss Ruth was blind and utilized light knuckle slapping when a wrong note was played. I hated to practice and the knuckle slapping got old thus the only thing I can play now is chopsticks. The library is still there at the end of the block. I wish I could remember the librarian's name. I owe her so much. She encouraged my reading and fed my imagination. I am what I am now because of where I was raised. I took what I was given and made it better. End of my ramble.
PS. Before I forget.... to my tablemates Barb and Melanie..... bite me.