This picture was taken in May 1960 in Holland, Michigan. Well before this little author was conceived, let alone thought of! The thing that is kinda cool is that in this picture, my house was already built and she was about 15-20 minutes away from where I live now. I want to tell her that I live here now! I want to tell her how droll the whole Holland Dutch Festival stuff is to us now after 12 years. I want to ask her what she is doing at that ridiculous touristy trap of a place in the picture!! There are more pictures in this group but I chose this one specifically because of the wooden shoes she has stepped into. When we lived in the house in Ohio, I would occasionally venture up to the atic with her to retrieve things or look at things. I can still see the attic and how it looked in my head. My old changing table, clothes hanging in plastic zipped bags for a different season, a projector and slides, insulation sticking out, a cedar chest, christmas items-you get the picture. I also remember some unpainted, unstained real hand carved wooden shoes. I would try them on and they would fit fairly well. I still have them I believe. They were a size 5-6, very small for my big feet! I would clod around the attic with these on. Years later I loathe a pair of these things because we are inudated with living in "mini netherlands" as there is a huge Dutch community here. So...when my mother planted her feet...I too planted them long after she was gone...34 years later.
Some memories about my best friend (still today!) that grew up with me on Bell Ave. This picture of her is from Junior high: 1982. Carla lived about 6 houses down from me. She had a big brother and as the seventies moved on two more brothers after her. We had a blast. We would play Charlies Angels (I was always the Jaclyn Smith character) and she was the Kate Jackson character. We would play kick the can with Doug Kasubinski (where is he at now?), Brian Meyer (married and still living on that street!), Carla, me and her big brother Mike. I would NOT want to go home to pee so occasionally when I wouldnt make it to a bush in Frances yard I would pee my pants. EWWW! But you can't chide me for dedication to the game! We would do kickball and army. Mike always wanted me to be HIS nurse. Took me years but I figured it out why he always played DOCTOR to the war wounded! Mike was cool though. When I would spend the night he would come in the kitchen and Carla and I would be playing "Restaurant" (pretty imaginative title, eh?) and he would just start cracking jokes. He would have us laughing so hard I would be in tears! He was a great brother to Carla too. Except when we would be in the basement playing and he and Doug would shut the lights out and the door on us. We froze and just started SCREAMING. Because the furnace down there was one of those big honkin' multi-armed things from the 20's! They would throw snowballs at Carla's upstairs bedroom window to scare us after we were asleep. Another thing was we had this constant battle going on with kids one street over: The Courtland kids we call them. They lived on Courtland St hence the name. One time they came over to menace us verbally and my mom came running down the street (still embarassed by this!) with A BALL BAT! She was not playin'! Today, I do not remember the reason we had issues with them. Carla and I were in Brownies together. We wanted to win a $30.00 prize for a talent show we were having. Some old brownie leader (prob dead or in a home!) has a movie of us at this talent show. Anyway, Carla's parents had Elvis and Beatle albums so we picked "I wanna hold your hand". I had no idea who the Beatles were since I was always relegated to 40's swing music from my WWII generation parents. So we did our thing with me dancing all over the place, gettin' my grove on larger than life and here is meek Carla. Just barely moving her sweet little feet. But we won over the others and split the cash. It was great. And to completely top off this blog writing I will end with the campfire favorite of how I tried to win friends and ended up making enemies! EVERYBODY and I mean everybody (kids on the block that is) always hung out at Carla's house to play. It was just a migration center for fun in the 70's when we were growing up. One day I got a real good offense going that no one wanted to come and play at my house. Here's my two theories on that: one, I was probably the biggest pain to my playmates as I was a spoiled, lippy, only child..sorry guys! Two, my mother drank bottles of beer. No other mother on the street (openly of course) drank beer. She would be sitting out in the hot sun having a cold beer right on the front porch. SO, I had a brainiac idea to INFLUENCE friends to come over. I found some chocolate in foil in the refrigerator and gladly gave it out to my friends: the Kasubinski's, Meyer's, Lyon's, Stump's etc. Later that afternoon people started stopping over all right. Even parents! Wow, it worked! Except that my mom was getting upset and giving me looks that would kill. Then she explained to me that I was in trouble for giving EX-LAX to the kids in the hood. I didn't know it was EX LAX. Of course now they don't make it with a box and silver foil covering it but in the 70's I thought it would make everything come out alright!