Baby Boomer Nostalgic memories of winter in the 1950s

sledding at balduckToday I was driving on  Chandler Park Drive heading for an appointment,   and stopped for a moment to watch as children and adults were sledding down Balduck Hill.   The same hill I took my first sled ride in the 1950s with my dad!  I remember I was about six years old and my cousins had told me how much fun they had when had gone sledding.  I asked my dad to take my brother and me.   He bought a sled at the local hardware store and packed my mom, bundled my  brother and me into our Hudson and drove to the Balduck Hill.   I could hardly wait to get out of the car and begin an adventure like my cousins had experienced.

Half way up the hill, I recall  having second thoughts.  I watched as kids and adults flew down that steep, snow covered, at what appeared to me to be,  mountain.   I trudged behind my dad to the top of the hill,  not wanting to admit that I was terrified.  My dad, sensing my fear, told me that he would be in back of me and that I only had to go down the hill once, and if I was still afraid that I wouldn’t have go down again.

I remember sitting on that sled with my dad in back of me, shutting my eyes, praying, opening my eyes half way down watching a blur of  kids and adults on either side of us whizzing by.  When you’re six, every moment can seem like an hour.   I clearly remember asking my Guardian Angel to protect my dad and me.  I also remember hitting some small bumps in the snowy pathway and I was sure we were going to die. My six year old heart was racing so fast I thought that Paradise was imminent.   Finally, after what seemed to be a lifetime, the sled slowed and finally came to a stop.  My dad and I got off the sled and as we walked through the snow to the parking lot where my brother and mom were waiting he said, “That was fun, wasn’t it?”  I looked around at the other children who were laughing and heading back up the hill to go down again and said, “Yes, it was fun!”  My dad asked if I wanted to back up the hill and come down again before he took my brother.  Trying to keep the terror off my face, I shook my head no and let my brother have my turn. And every other turn the rest of the day.    It was a full year before I gathered enough courage to sled down that hill again.

As I was driving away today, I had to laugh.  The  hill that I thought was a mountain when I was six, isn’t steep at all.

But when you’re six, the whole world is bigger than life!

Marianne

Where did you go sledding?  Were you afraid your first time down the hill?

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This Baby Boomer Wishes you a Merry Christmas-Christmas memories of the 1950s

This Baby Boomer wishes you a Merry Christmas!

Here in Michigan we are having a mini-blizzard!  The snow is coming down and the wind has increased to 20 mph!   I watched out my window as the children, ages six or seven, who live in back of me began to build a snowman and pull each other on shiny new sleds they received from Santa!  To my knowledge kids are the only ones truly enjoying this snowstorm!  They threw snowballs, laughed, and were building something resembling a fort!

Truthfully, I remember when I was that age and loved the snow!   I remember the kids in our neighborhood, and there were a ton of them,  getting together, dressed like Eskimos, in the cold and snow, and building snowmen, making snow angels, throwing snowballs until we were exhausted, or so cold we had to go inside to drink hot chocolate. I recall taking off the wet snowsuit, numerous sweaters, the iced mittens, snow filled boots and feeling my cheeks sting with the cold.

I also remember we couldn’t wait to go outdoors and play again!

We were as carefree as those children who live around the block from me.  Christmas and winter in the1950′s was an innocent time!

The Blooming Baby Boomers would like to take a moment and honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre and their families.  May God Bless and heal your broken hearts.

Marianne

 

Posted in Baby Boomer Memories of Christmas in the 1950s, Blizzards, Christmas Memories in the 1950s, Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Baby Boomer Memories of Summer 1950s

For this baby boomer, August is a month of memories from childhood!   Every August, usually the last two weeks, my parents, brother and I traveled to Waterbury, Connecticut to visit my mom’s parents!  We so looked forward to it!  Living in Michigan, Connecticut was so different, with all the mountains, huge hills and  most backyards with no fences!  And most of all we looked forward to seeing our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Recently, my awesome nephew Matt and his beautiful family (wife Melanie and sons Wyatt (4) and Thomas (2) traveled from Virginia to Michigan to visit my brother, sisters and me.  I met them in the driveway of my brother’s house, truly excited to see them!  I asked my nephew how the trip was with the young kids and he responded, “Great, they watched videos all the way here!”

I looked in their vehicle and saw the screen and a cartoon playing!   Wow!  My parents would have loved that!   Traveling in the 1950s to Connecticut, before the thru way, was a two day adventure.  We drove through Canada to Upper State New York and into Connecticut.  My parents must have been both excited to be at my grandparents home, and exhausted!

I remember one trip to Connecticut in particular when I was six years old.

Like most little girls in the 1950s I LOVED the princesses:  Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty!  I had all the Walt Disney books, records and cutouts!  I knew all about royalty and kingdoms!

The trip started out well enough, leaving the house before sunrise and driving through the Canadian tunnel into Canada.  I remember we stopped for breakfast at a small restaurant.  After eating, and this memory is very clear, I stood in front of a large portrait of a beautiful lady with a diamond crown.  I recall she had a sash across her gorgeous gown and large, jewelry around her neck.  The owner of the restaurant, seeing my fascination with the portrait, bent down and said, “That’s our queen.”

Years later, my mom told me she could have cheerfully smacked that man because she knew what was ahead.  And she was right.   As the story, for years, was told:  From the moment that man told me the lady in the portrait was THEIR queen,  I was on the lookout for her kingdom!   My parents said that for the next eight hundred miles, I was constantly asking where the queen was, where was her kingdom, could we stop?  No matter how hard they tried to tell me that the queen lived in England and we were in Canada, I was sure that England was at the next road stop.  After all, the man said, OUR queen.

My dad told me that by the time they reached Niagra Falls the following morning, he would have PAID someone to dress up like the queen.

During the past year as Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, I found online the portrait that I’d seen so many years ago.   As I studied that portrait, I could well understand how a six year old girl could have been enthralled with a beautiful queen.   The lady in the portrait was everything a queen should be, both then and she is now.

We had a wonderful time with my nephew and his family!  We treasure the times we have together and can’t wait to see them again!   Just as my grandparents treasured memories of my brother and me!

 

 

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The Blooming Baby Boomers wish you a happy, safe Fourth of July!

This baby boomer wishes you a happy, safe Fourth of July!   My first memories of a Fourth of July in the 1950s was excitement with parades, picnics and the awesome fireworks at a nearby school play field!

World War II was still a fresh memory in the 1950s and I remember my parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins,  among hundreds  of  other men, women and children lining the streets,  waving small American flags as soldiers in uniforms, loud marching bands, clowns, horses and floats proclaiming the greatness of the United States.

I clearly recall my parents saying how blessed we were to be living in the United States and how much they loved this country.

After the parade we would climb into the car and go to the metro beach.  The ride seemed endless anticipating the fun we were going to have at the Fourth of July picnic.  And as always, there was so much food!  We would all claim picnic tables, and my parents unloaded the coolers with hamburgs and hotdogs.

The kids played on the swings and slides and cooled off in the beach water. Then we ate everything from watermelon to potato salad to cookies and cakes.

Then we had to wait an hour to go back into the water!

As the afternoon wore on I remember we hated to leave but there was the anticipation of the fireworks later in the evening.

We weren’t disappointed!   An hour or so before dark, my parents would spread a blanket on the ground of the school play field where we joined hundreds of other friends and neighbors.

The first barrage of fireworks always scared us!  The loud explosions ending in a plume of colors lighting the night sky.

One after the other decorated the night until the long, beautiful finale.

I know that once we were home, tired, but still excited about the day’s events, my parents would make sure we understood that we had just celebrated the birthday of the United States.

Today, almost 60 years later than my first Fourth of July memories, I still love the parades and will be attending a picnic later this very warm July afternoon.  But most of all, I remember the reasons my parents instilled on us why we celebrate this day.  God Bless America, land that I love.

And this baby boomer loves this country, with all our problems (and we have them), there is no where else I’d rather be!

Posted in Baby Boomer Favorite Childhood Memory 1950s, Baby Boomer Memories, Baby Boomer Memories of the Fourth of July, Baby Boomer Remembers Memorial Day in the 1950s, Baby Boomer Summer Memories 1950s, Baby Boomers memories of the Fourth of July 1950s | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Baby Boomer Memories of Memorial Day 1950s

This baby boomer remembers Memorial Day in the 1950s with parades and picnics!  “The official day summer begins.” My mom told us!  Even as children growing up in the 1950s, we knew that Memorial Day was more than just the beginning of the warm weather, playing outside, school ending in just a couple of weeks and long, summer vacations were on the horizon.

World War II wasn’t a distant memory.   My dad, his brothers and two of his sisters served “overseas” during that war.  My mom worked in a factory that created ammunition for our troops.  So before the parades began and the picnics were attended or hosted, we spent a moment of silence for all those brave men and women who fought (and many who paid the ultimate price) for the freedoms we cherish.

Korea, Viet Nam, conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan have since played a prominent role in our country’s history.   And this baby boomer has taken a moment of silence to thank all those who are still serving their country to keep those freedoms that I still cherish.

God Bless America, land that I love.

 

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Christmas memories of the 1950s

Baby boomer memories of Christmas in the 1950′s!

The gifts have been purchased, opened and the new year has begun!   Happy New Year!

This past Christmas I was reminded of my childhood Christmases at my grandparents home! I have five grand nieces and grand nephews ages 6-4-3-2-1!

My grand nieces were at my brother’s house!  My nephew Matt and his family with Wyatt age 4 and Thomas age 2 could not make the trip home from Virginia this year because of his work schedule.  Though disappointing, for the first time we used Skype!  My gosh! It was fantastic!

My grandparents in Connecticut would have loved Skype! So would my mom and dad!   While we went to my grandmother’s home on Algonquin in Detroit for Christmas Day with all my cousins, we never spent a Christmas with Nanny and Pep in Connecticut.  We talked long distance to them every holiday, but that sure wasn’t like Skype!

We had a wonderful visit!  (The boys are getting so big!)

I wondered, though briefly, what their lives will be like in 25 years with technology!

This baby boomer had a wonderful Christmas, and wishes everyone a wonderful new year!

 

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Baby Boomer pays tribute to 9/11/2001 victims

It’s difficult to believe that 10 years has passed since that horrid morning. Like  millions of others throughout the world, I still grieve for those who lost their lives, and  those who are still mourning the loss of a loved one.

So much progress has been made in technology, science, medicine and  the arts during the past ten years, unfortunately we are still fighting to keep our country free from terrorists. And this baby boomer thanks with all my heart, those who have risked,  or continue to risk their lives to protect our freedoms.

This Baby Boomer is proud to be an American!  God Bless the country I love!

Marianne

Posted in 2001, Baby Boomer remembers 9/11/2001 | Tagged | 2 Comments

Baby Boomer Summer Memories 1950s Connecticut

Baby Boomer Summer Memories in Connecticut in the 1950s always came to an end right before Labor Day.  My dad had to get back to work and when my brother and I were a bit older, to school.

After two weeks of being loved, doted on, playing on the beaches, visiting relatives, having ice cream just about every day, it came time to return to Michigan.

I remember we got up in the dark and just before dawn we would kiss my grandparents and Auntie Maime good bye.  I will always remember my grandparents and aunt standing on the asphalt driveway with large white handkerchiefs, wiping their eyes; and my brother and I in the backseat of our car waving and crying our hearts out.

My dad told us when we grew older that he let us cry from Connecticut to Upper New York State then said, “That’s enough crying, we’ll be back next year” and tried to distract us with the sites in the mountains and miles of farmlands with the never ending cows and horses.

Looking back, the return home must have been a long, two day trip for my parents,  with two sad little children in the back seat,  who could have cared less about those cows and horses.

I know once we returned home, we quickly slipped into the patterns of our childhood daily lives.  But we spoke often throughout the year, about our trip to Connecticut and our grandparents and Aunt Maime.

Do you remember being a child and feeling sad about leaving a favorite place?

 

 

Posted in Baby Boomer Favorite Childhood Memory 1950s, Baby boomers summer memories 1950s, Connecticut 1950s, Waterbury Connecticut | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Baby Boomer Summer Memories-1950 Connecticut continued

This baby boomer remembers clearly visits to my grandparents’ home in Waterbury Connecticut!

After we had settled into my grandparents’ home for our two week visit, my parents had their annual obligatory visits to relatives on both sides of their family.  One of my clearest recollections is visiting “The Wolfs”.  Every year when I was a child I heard with dread that we were going to visit “The Wolfs”, elderly grand aunts and grand uncles and cousins who were my parents’ age.  There were no children for us to play with.

My parents clearly set down rules for our visit:  Say please, thank you, don’t touch anything, sit on the couch and don’t breathe.   Don’t move. We visited in our Sunday clothes.

Then we drove just off “Main Street” to a large wooden Victorian home.  My clearest memory is the large oval window of cut crystal and glass of the door as we stood on the wooden porch ringing the doorbell. Once inside, I remember the dark, somber colors of the walls, carpet, heavy velvet drapes, and huge velvet  couches and chairs with white lace doilies gracing the back of the furniture. The tables in the parlor held large Tiffany lamps with old china teacups and knicknacks.  And in the corner, near the couch we sat on was an  enormous wire birdcage that always held an equally large black bird that continually screeched at us. It was always hot in the house and the semi closed drapes made spooky shadows throughout the livingroom where my brother and I sat alone on that couch.

We were offered cookies on china plates and were allowed to have one.

Visiting the Wolfs was the only time I ever remembered my brother sitting still for any length of time to scared to move.

Once we left their home, we stopped for ice cream on the way back to my grandparents’ house.

Years later, my mom told me that our visits to The Wolfs lasted any where from forty five minutes to an hour.  Seemed like two days long to my brother and me.  She also told me that The Wolfs, Joe and Mae, from my father’s side of the family,  were a big part of the social society of Waterbury. She said that she and my dad were always surprised that we behaved so well, even as small children.  The truth is: we were terrified.

I remember when the obligatory visits were concluded, we spent many of our days at the Scovill’s Dam not far from my grandparents, swimming and playing in the sand and going on picnics with my mother’s brother, Uncle John and his family.

The days were long and fun filled in Waterbury!

Did you have special summer memories?

 

 

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Baby Boomer Summer Memories -1950 Connecticut continued

As my baby boomer summer memories continue in Connecticut, the first day my parents rested from the long trip and my brother and I played with our grandparents.

One of the first things that we noticed about Connecticut was there are no fences!   Here in Michigan, everyone had a hurricane fence enclosing their backyard.  But in Connecticut you could literally start at the top of the hill where my grandparents’ home was straight through every tree filled backyard to the next corner about fifteen houses.   The same with the homes in the back of the house, no fences.   Consequently,  when we were small, we were not allowed to play outside alone.

From the asphalt driveway and large garage to the huge trees in the backyard we found plenty to keep us occupied.

One of my most cherished memories is walking with my grandfather down the enormous hill on Hinsdale Avenue holding his hand, then crossing the street- to Wolcott -where there was an enormous arch cut in the middle of a mountain !  In by gone eras this was a resting place for horses.  In the back of the arch was a running  spring of fresh water.  My grandfather would fill up a bottle. He called it his tonic.  On the way back home, back up the large hill to his house, he would tell us stories about the early settlers in Waterbury who used to take shelter in the arch from the blizzards, hurricanes and unbearable heat.

My grandmother worked in a factory, and though she would take several days off when we were visiting, she did work a couple of  days. On the days she worked, we would stand outside the front of the house when the 5:00 whistle blew and wait for Nanny to come home.  I remember she would always bolt out of her friend’s car with her arms wide open and hug us.

My grandfather and grand aunt had dinner ready for Nanny when she came home and all of us would eat around the large kitchen table.

It didn’t take us long to get settled into our summer lives in Connecticut.

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