Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday Memories


Did I ever tell you about the end of my childhood?


My 11th birthday was in the fall of 1950. During the summer of 1950 the curtain was slowly coming down on my childhood, but I didn't know it until much later. In fact, I was reminded of it last week when our writing group prompt was the comic strip Agnes who is supposed to be about 11 years old, lives with her grandmother and is always pondering life's difficult questions.

It was my last summer to ride a bike with my brother on the country roads and catch tadpoles to take home; the last summer to swing from vines in the dense woods on the road west of town; the last summer to visit our friends who had moved to Baileyville where you could still get a nickel ice cream cone; it was the summer I rode in the livestock truck with Charlie and Raymond; it was the last summer I would walk to the town baseball field in the evenings, sit up on the score board and run around being silly; it was the last fall I would build leaf castles in our front yard with my friends JoElla and Nancy; the last time I would play with dolls.

I started 6th grade in Miss Michael's fifth/sixth grade class in Forreston, IL in September in a building with grades one through twelve. On Sundays we worshipped at a small Lutheran Church in Forreston, although we weren't members, and my sisters attended their confirmation classes. We all sang in the choirs and my oldest sister took organ lessons there. On Sunday afternoons we would all get in the 1950 Chevrolet sedan and drive either to Mt. Morris to see my father's parents, or to a farm near Franklin Grove to visit my mother's parents. My parents would visit with my aunts and uncles and grandparents while we cousins would either walk to the Lamb Theater in Mt. Morris to see a B cowboy movie, or down the country lane into Franklin Grove.

In March 1951 my family moved back to Mt. Morris from which we had moved in 1946, and I finished 6th grade in a different school with a new teacher, new friends and a different church (where I had been baptized). I learned new slang, how to cope with cliques, and discovered the girls were gossiping about things I’d never heard of.

I'm in the front row right in this sixth grade class photo. I have a rather grown-up hair style and two piece dress and was probably close to my adult height and weight. There would still be time for child-like activities, but those times would be less and less Looking back, I think childhood was over during my 12th year, and like Agnes, I did start seeing things differently.



If you have enjoyed my Monday Memory, please lease a comment and I'll link back to you.


Renee, Jen, Emma, Barbara, Libra, Amy, Bec, Joan, Purple Kangaroo,


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11 comments:

Renee Nefe said...

Brings back memories of my childhood and it's end...which was odd because of my parent's divorce. I had to grow up and take care of things for when we lived with my dad and then when mom got remarried, I could be a kid again for a while.

Thanks for the memories...

Jen said...

What a wonderful picture!

I think I can relate to your post in some ways.

Thanks for stopping by, I'm glad Blogger's working again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my MM! That's a great picture!

Unknown said...

Norma - Lovely memory. Nice photo to go with it. Why did your childhood end? Because you moved away, because you grew up?

Norma said...

Barbara: I think it is called puberty, and a young lady's interests change!

Libragirl said...

Growing up stinks. I know my childhood ended in part when we moved. Yeah, I still went out and played, but it was 5th grade and I was the new kid. Hard to get into cliques at that time.

Sparrow said...

It sounds like you had a lovely childhood! Thanks for commenting on my MM. :-)

Anonymous said...

I can't remember ever feeling that my childhood had ended. I always had the feeling that I was older than I was. But maybe yeah, when I moved away frm the South of England when I was 9 (I don't know what that equate to in Grades)... that was when everything changed...

purple_kangaroo said...

I used to catch tadpoles, too. In fact, we have one right now that I caught at my parents' house last summer--it's a bullfrog tadpole so takes years to mature.

My MM is up, finally. :)

murrayT said...

I found it interesting that Moe and Nancy were staying close together at that early age. You suppose true love had already stricken them? Plus comparing Dave Bartow's size to his current weight of 310 lbs. I would have suspected that of Tom Walker or Tom Potter but not Dave.

Ruth said...

I did not leave imediately after posting the Email...enjoyed seeing the picture of your mother, brother and you as well as the classroom pic..Have a blessed day!