Thursday, May 3, 2007

Smelterville Snippets (1)

Ceramics & Crochet

I learned to crochet when I was about 6, and taught my friend PJ to crochet also - even though she was left handed, and I was not. My mom and E. Jerome used to crochet together. At one point, they were working on crochet bedspreads at the same time. Both bedspreads were white with roses on them. Mom's had pink roses and E's had various colored roses. My mom gave her bedspread to R, my sister many years ago. When I inquired about it, almost 15 yrs ago., R said she had it in her shed. She wasn't fond of it, so she gave it to me. It holds a lot of sentimental value for me.

Mom also did a lot of ceramics in Smelterville. She made a lot of ashtrays (some R-rated), and advanced to vases, cookie jars, fruit bowls, and lamps. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to "do ceramics." Mom gave most of her stuff away, and many of her friends used their cookie jars, etc. for years to come.

Debates & True Confessions

I vaguely remember the 1960 Presidential Debates on television - between J. F. Kennedy & R. M. Nixon. The neighbors had the debates on at their house when I went over to visit, and I thought it was the most boring thing I had ever seen on television. (Worse than Beanie & Cecil).

One summer when I was at L. Jerome's place, we went outside to play. She had two older sisters, and the oldest J. was lying on a blanket in the yard, reading True Confessions magazines. I was probably between second and third grade, because I was able to easily read the magazines. I remember reading a story about a teen girl who went to babysit at a home, and discovered there was not wife nor children at the home. The man kept telling her they'd be there soon and if she'd just like to sit on the couch and wait. She felt creepy, and excused herself to the rest room. Once inside, she crawled out of the window and ran home. It wasn't the kind of stuff a girl my age needed to be reading.

Tar Bubbles & Maple Leaves

L. J. and I did a lot of fun stuff together. I remember one of my favorites was picking tar bubbles in the road on Washington St. We weren't supposed to play in the street, but the tar was so cool. When we picked the top off of the bubbles, the inside was a smooth and shiny dip. I don't know why it fascinated me, but it did.

We also used to go to someone's house on the street and jump in their gigantic maple leaf pile in the fall. I'm not sure if I even knew the people, or if we had permission, but I do remember the smell of the leaves and the fun we had.

One time, I was playing with L and her siblings in their garage. The floor was made of dirt, as many garages in those days were and the walls were wooden. I wanted to reach something in the rafters, so I grabbed an old tin can and turned it upside down so I could step on it. Now the can was a bit squished at the top, and it didn't occur to me that it would be unstable. As I climbed up onto the can, it flipped over, and where the top was compressed together into a point - I landed with the back of my thigh. Mom had to take me to the doctor for stitches and a tetnus shot. I used to be able to see the scar, but I can't twist that far now.

Tire Swing & Junk clubhouses

Dad made a tire swing for me at Smelterville. He cut off about 2 thirds of the tire, leaving a rim of rubber around the openings, then he turned the tire inside out and hung it up by the "handles" (parts around the openings). I could sit comfortably inside the tire (on the tracks) and swing to my heart's content. I don't know if he had such a swing when he was young - or if he made up the "pattern," but I have never seen another one like it.

During the time I lived in Smelterville and spent some of my weekend time in Pinehurst, the Carver kids and I used to build "cabins" out of short pieces of 2x4s that the Caldwells had piled out back for their wood stove. (Pieces were probably 2 or 3' long.) We would stack them up Lincoln Log style - but without the notches. When they were finished, we would climb up the outside and over the walls to get inside. One day we made a structure two boards long and one board wide and about 3 and a half feet high. All of us who worked on it climbed inside and pretended we were sardines. Our creativity was cut short, when the older boys built a structure so large it blocked a driveway, and we were told we couldn't build any more.

During the same time, I decided to make my own cabin / clubhouse in Smelterville. Unfortunately, I didn't have access to regular sized lumber, so I improvised. We lived behind a wood working place, and there were differing sizes of scraps and old greyed out boards a tire or two, and maybe a door. I used the menagerie to build several hideouts. One of my favorites utlilized the tire as the entrance around a hole on top of the structure. I loved to climb inside to read or think. I'm not sure who dismantled them, but I think my parents may have been concerned for my safety, and put an end to my creativity.


raymond pert said...

It was terribly sad when L.J. died not too long after our 20 year reunion. I don't get it.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Yes, that was a real shocker. Supposedly she had been having severe headaches for some time. I think she may have had a stroke. It was too bad the doctor's weren't able to diagnose and do something to help her.