Early Childhood Memories – 5-7

Time to continue recording memories from growing up. These memories occurred when I was around the ages of 5 to 7, but there may be some overlap with memories from when I was older.

I thought I would provide a list of items that didn’t exist or were not used often during this time. It’s a bit amazing to think about everything that has changed as I’ve grown older. Here is a short list.

  • No home computers. Computers did exist but they were large boxes and only used in a few businesses.
  • No calculators, slide rules along with pencil and paper were used for large number calculations.
  • Black and white TV was still dominant. Most TV shows were still black and white but they had been filming in color for a a couple of years, I believe.
  • No cable TV. We got 3 channels using a big antenna on our house. It was a big deal when KPBS went on the air in the early 70’s in our area.
  • No 8 track tapes, cassette tapes or CDs. There were reel to reel tape players and record players. A stereo system, if you had one, usually had a record player and a radio. They were built like pieces of furniture with wood cases.
  • The US had gone to space but had not landed someone on the moon yet.
  • No VHS tapes or DVDs. If you wanted to see a movie you had to go to the movie house. And movies were not generally shown on TV, except for the Wizard of Oz.
  • There was still candy that you could buy for a penny. A childs ticket to the matinee was 50 cents, a small drink 15 cents and a popcorn was 15 cents.

When I was five we moved into the first house that my parents bought instead of renting. We had a backyard and one of the first things my parents did was to put a swing set for us kids. The back yard was not super great for kids as a lot of it was paved with stones that were uneven. During this year my brother must have gotten old enough to walk, I vaguely remember him walking around out in the back yard.

There were some neighbor kids, some boys, who lived next door to us. When we came home from school we would play various games. One of our favorite games was racing our tricycles. Back then kids in our area didn’t really start riding bicycles until they were 7 or 8 and it was a big deal to get a bike and to learn to ride it. No training wheels for us, you either learned to balance quickly or learned to live with being scraped up.

Our neighbors didn’t have a fence around their house so we were able to race our trikes around their house. We would race around and at first I would use my red tricycle that I loved so much. I eventually out grew that tricycle and I got a big blue tricycle for Christmas one year. I don’t remember what year that was but I remember how shiny and new my blue trike looked. And it had tassles hanging out of the handle which were totally cool. I liked to see how fast I could push my trike and make the tassles fly out in the wind. I don’t remember who won those races but I remember pushing from the back of my trike very fast in trying to win each time.

Our house did have a fence around it, with a gate at the front that could close out the driveway. I always felt like we lived in a castle because of our gates that we could use to close out the intruders that might invade. If the big gates were closed there was a small side gate that could be used to get in and out. The big gates were not closed very often but it was great fun to be allowed to close them those few times. We also had a flag pole in our front yard which was was also neat. I had only seen schools and other public buildings with a flag pole so our house seemed very special with that flag pole out front.

When I was almost 6 years old I started kindergarten. The class was for half a day and a room apart from the rest of the school. I remember we had to bring in our own towels with our name written on them to use for rest time. I didn’t understand why we had to put our names on the towels because we were told we couldn’t take them home at the end of the school year, not sure what they did with all of those towels. I don’t remember much about kindergarten, just that class was in a big room with lots of sunshine from the many windows in the class. It was a very bright, sunny place. We had an older teacher who was a year or two from retirement, I was envious of my brother a few years later when he had the young teacher who replace my teacher for his kindergarten class.

I walked to school, it was not very far, less than half a mile to walk, although it seemed a long ways. I think the walk got longer in the winter, especially when those coldy, icy winds blew and I was wearing a skirt to school. I usually enjoyed the walk though, it gave me some time away from the bustle of home or school and time for myself to just think. I still like to walk and just think on different subjects in my life. All the kids walked to school and there was always a school within walking distance because of all of the kids. There were always a lot of kids about, being on the tail end of the baby boomers and all of that. Today’s neighborhoods seem so empty with all the kids in school or day care while their parents work, I’m not sure if we made a gain there for children.

Time to stop for a bit, more memories to come.