January 23, 2011


I just spotted this exercise from Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog, I am three weeks behind so I have some catching up to do, lets see if I can keep up-

WEEK #1 NEW YEARS TRADITIONS: As a child the memories start with bringing in the new year. Not a lot of fanfare. We would watch the ball drop with Dick Clark for as long as I can remember…I don’t know who would have MC’d it before him….because nobody was more relevant than Dick Clark! We had horns and popcorn and pop I am sure and who knows what else…and I am sure we were swept off to bed shortly after. Of course the older you were the later you stayed up, and the more sophisticated the parties were….
New Year’s Day, early to rise as there were parades to watch! It would be a pretty quiet morning and mom had always made a ham and potato salad with various other stuff…I think there was eating all day as football fans were roaring in the house!
These were the relevant memories of childhood New Years Day.

WEEK#2 WINTER MEMORIES: Oh my…childhood memories of winter…that was when I liked winter! Living in Northern Michigan [Traverse City], we were guaranteed a lot of snow…a lot! And we got all the cold to go with it. I lived on the foot of a hill, called Boughey Hill. We would drag our sleds through our yard to the top of the hill of our neighbor’s yard…and sled from there. Down and around obstacles we went, reaching the back side of my house and off to the side of it. Barreling down yet more hills in the front of the house, we would end up to the street-17th Street. Usually there would be someone there to monitor traffic [ not that there was ever a lot] and let us know to bail out. If no traffic we continued across the street and on down the alley until the sleds ran out of steam. That was great fun!
We also often walked over to the ”sand pit” off of Rennie Hill and did some sledding there. We of course made snow forts…we called everything a fort not a house. There was a lot of snowmobiling done. My family did not have snowmobiles but the Fishers and Yokeums did. I went snowmobiling a lot with the Fishers whole family, and Lori Yokeum and I went by ourselves on her brothers sleds. Possibly the best of all was the ice skating. I miss that. When I moved downstate there didn’t seem to be a lot of that going on. We would skate for hours, pretending we just didn’t know what time it had become. Just three blocks from my house, we walked to the outdoor rink. It was a field on the block of Thirlby Field Football Stadium. They…whoever they were, flooded the field each winter and pulled in a shanty equipped with a wood stove and jute box tunes with a loud speaker. We would skate and freeze, warm up by the stove…oh and they had hot chocolate too…then right back out and back at it again…repeat several times.
My mom kept a large supply of winter gear…we constantly came in to get new warm dry clothes because we just couldn’t stay out of the snow!

WEEK # 3 FIRST CAR: I wish I had a picture of the beast. 1977-I was 17 years old and had graduated from high school and was working at my first job across town. I had been using my parent’s car while looking and saving. I WANTED A CAMARO. I looked at a couple too. Then one day my dad showed up at my workplace with what he said was my new car. WHAT? Wait a minute…did you find a Camaro? I went outside to look and felt like I was going to puke. [sorry-vivid memory] IT WAS NOT A CAMARO! It was a FOUR DOOR green bomb 1970 Pontiac Catalina! Ugh! Really? My heart sank. Dad said well It’s not written in stone, but take it for a ride I think you will like it. Well dad was a truck driver and started pointing out all of the ‘good points’ to the car vs a Camaro. “And I will throw in some brand new snow tires and a cassette player”-- the cd player of the day. OOOO…..KKKKKKKAAAAAAYYYYYY.-note:a little apprehnsion there-
And so began the story of the green bomb, turns out it was a great car for a lot of years. Did A LOT of driving in it. Around and around…you know the cruises, and it held a lot more friends than a Camaro-bonus! Trips to Detroit to see my brother on weekends and other weekends trips to Traverse City to see friends. Great winter car…except on ice, but that could have been driver error..(s) It did get old though, and I never did get that Camaro…but lucky for me when it gave up the ghost I was dating a mechanic. He had my next new car right in his back yard…a 1966 Chevy Caprice….I LOVED that car! LOVED that car! And I married the mechanic!

1 comment:

  1. Before Dick Clark, New Year's Eve on TV meant bandleader Guy Lombardo. He hosted 21 consecutive New Year's Eve shows from 1956 to 1976. I remember thinking as a kid he was boring, and I couldn't wait for midnight. Dick Clark was a welcome replacement.