Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In My Hometown

Last week someone started a Facebook page about being from my hometown. My sister added me to the page and…wow! I had a hundred emails in no time. The first day there were about 700 posts, including a few from me.

A lot of memories were triggered, things I and hundreds of others had not thought about in twenty, thirty or more years. It diverged from the original posts - recalling places, old buildings that had been torn down, businesses no longer in existence or that had grown and moved - to include personal remembrances of school days, childhood friends and the mischief that sometimes resulted in those times. The posts have slowed down since the first day, but it is still a very active page.

Although I wasn’t born in this town, and when young, lived just across the bridge in the neighbouring community, most of my fondest…and worst memories can be found strewn across both sides of that river, so, therefore, I do consider it to be my hometown. Others who had grown up just outside of town have also joined this page and many of us have shared the same or similar experiences. In fact, I’m sure people from all over would be able to relate to a few of them; playing baseball or football in the back field, skating in the winter, milkshakes at the pharmacy or five and dime store, picking berries. People are not as different as they sometimes believe.

I look back to my childhood and am fascinated to recall how rivalries were born and then torn down. When I was in elementary school, our rival school was only a few blocks away and I clearly remember us calling them “Central School bums!” Once junior high bound, we found ourselves sharing a bus ride to school with these new friends, and we started calling the “townies” the bums. But, of course, junior high lead to the high school in town, so…it only goes to show that the more you get to know others, the more you can see the similarities.

Before I go, I would like to regale you with one last memory that popped into my head after reading some of those posts.

One summer the neighbourhood boys built a tree house in this huge, old, maple in the field behind our house. It sat about ten feet up into the tree, and was only accessible by the short pieces of scrap lumber nailed up the side of the trunk  One day while my cousin, Duane, was climbing down he lost his footing, but instead of falling to the ground, he slid, holding on to the trunk (scraping his arms legs and hands terribly I’m sure) and landed softly on the ground.  Shawn, who lived across the street from me had witnessed this unusual descent, and quite excitedly exclaimed, “Man! That was cool! Do it again and I’ll give you ten bucks!” Ah, the innocence of youth.

Billy Joel. Another wonderful piece of my youth. 

1 comment:

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