I had a wonderful conversation by e-mail and Facebook with good friends about how we survived our youth. We saw Tarzan almost naked and Jane in her skimpy skins. We saw Cinderella getting home after midnight and Pinocchio told lies! Aladdin was a thief and Batman drove his car over 200 miles an hour! Snow White lived in a house with seven men! Popeye smoked a pipe and had tattoos. Pac-Man ran around with digital music while eating pills to enhance his performance. Scooby and Shaggy were mystery solving hippies that always have the munchies. If this was your childhood, what were your fondest memories?
How about Cowboys and Indians, shooting each other with plastic guns and Indians throwing sharp sticks back at you? My brother had a rubber knife that he “used” often to kill the bad guy! Or the time he chased me around the house with the rubber knife, telling me he was going to stab me – my Dad saved the day with a smile on his face. My Mom did not think it was funny!
Or how about fireworks that we usually held in our hands trying to light them with an wooden kitchen match, sometimes out behind the barn so Mom would not see us playing with matches! How about shooting bottle rockets at each other? Chasing each other around with lit sparklers-oh, now, that was fun. (Running around with a sharp piece of wire and fire on the end of it. What would happen today?)
I am sure most of you readers my age played Kick The Tin Can, Crack The Whip (my brother got his front tooth broke off in somebody’s forehead with this game)Ever played Crack the Whip on roller skates, I did, just once! Annie, Annie Over or Hide and Seek, we crawled high up trees, in hay lofts, the roof of the chicken coop or in the chicken coop, muddy spidery, crawl-spaces and various other cracks and crannies that we could cram our body into so we would not be seen. We also played baseball in a plowed field, using dirt clods because we did not have a ball. You know what dirt clods do when you hit it with baseball bat? I ended up with a black eye and bloody nose over that.
Or see how far we could walk on the railing of the corral before we fell in. My brother was better at this than I was. I fell into the corral and Dad washed me off with a bucket of water from the cow-horse water tank before I could go inside and change my clothes and oh yes, get a scolding from my Mother! My brother was smart enough to jump the other way, always landing on the opposite side.
My friend Bev adds they jumped motorcycles and go carts off the loading docks and did “donuts” in the pasture. She said some of the best times were when her Daddy built a dune buggy and showed them how to do “donuts” properly. She tells me that she had great parents who let them learn the hard (fun) way. Her Mom, Pat, states that they survived with experience. My Dad felt the same way, but my Mom…we just did not tell her!!
My Dad built a “hay wagon” that he used during haying season and the rest of the time he called it the “coyote wagon.” He removed the top and doors, so this was my first “convertible ride” down the pasture with no doors, no seatbelts and no rollbar. We did donuts and chased bulls that had gotten out of the pasture. We loved the way he drove fast up and down the pasture lane. We hung on for dear life to each other and to this day I wonder why we never fell out! When the fun was all over and we all had big grins on our faces that you could not wipe off, my Dad would say “now don’t tell your Mother!
My daughter tells me that when they wanted to watch something on television in the 70s, my son would crawl up on the steep roof of our house built on the side of a hill in Eagle River and turn the television antenna (no, no Dish at this time) to just the right spot so they could watch something teen-age important, on television. It took someone on the roof, David, someone standing by the door, Susan, to relay the message to someone setting in front of the television, Gail, that the antenna was twisted to the right spot. This mama did not know anything about that and I probably would’ve been the first one to scream and scold! I am sure there is more “hidden fun” that I’ll never know about!
All these experiences and loads of fun did not cost a penny. The games, the iPad, the iPhones, the computer, hand held game devices, and television and many more electronic-digital devices we have today, cost plenty of money to entertain without getting fresh air and exercise, challenges, bloody cuts, bruises, owies, experiences and memories! And we went to bed all worn out and tired “asleep before our head hit the pillow!!”
Oh let’s not forget Mighty Mouse and Super Man saved the day! And how did you grow up? Recalling your memories is what keeps us all young!
The Grannie Annie series is written by a 49 year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski.Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her Mother, a self taught wonderful cook. She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day.
Grannie Annie can be reached at anninalaska@gci. net
The “Grannie Annie” Cook Book Series includes: “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ on the Woodstove”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ at the Homestead”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ Fish from Cold Alaskan Waters”; and “Grannie Annie’s Eat Dessert First.” They are available at M & M Market in Nikiski.