It’s amazing how much I don’t remember about my childhood. My memory can check back to images, but ages and dates are really fuzzy. I can remember places, faces, some names, events, and some very specific things, but most of what I remember about early childhood is unclear. (It must have been the 70’s that did that to me).
Most of what I remember of my childhood are images of a positive nature. I remember playing in our neighborhood with my good buddies Jeff and Danny. One of our favorite things to do in the summer (which used to be at least three months long) was to camp in the back yard. We would set up one of their tents (my family didn’t camp so they had the supplies) in a back yard of our choice and spend the night outside.
Usually, we spent the night sneaking around to find what we could get into. There were apple trees in many of the yards in our neighborhoods. Ready for the picking, we helped ourselves. One would climb the tree, shake the limbs, and the other two would collect the apples. There were many times that we would eat so many apples that we would get stomach aches the next day.
Another of our favorite neighborhood things was to take broom handles (or any old stick that was straight would do) and make rubber band guns. A nail in the tip of the stick or just a groove cut in order to wrap the band around was the first step in making the gun. Then a clothes pin would be mounted on the other end to hold the rubber band ready for firing. Releasing the rubber band would send it flying through the air toward the intended target. The target was usually one of the other “friends.” It was a blast!!
We lived on a very busy road in Florence. It was called Huntsville Road. It connected us with Huntsville Alabama about 70 miles away. At that time it took an hour and a half to travel there. Now it takes about 45 minutes. Anyway, next to this road was a “sweet gum” tree. We didn’t really know what kind of tree it was. That’s just what everyone called it. On this tree were these prickly round pine cone-like balls. They were perfect for throwing at passing cars. I couldn’t believe that my friends would actually do that. That’s all I have to say about that.
I will never forget the day that Jeff fell out of one of those trees and broke his arm. He fell right on top of my dog. Needless to say, neither he nor my dog were too happy about it. He jumped up and ran and so did the dog. I think that dog’s name was Rover. I know that’s not to original, but oh well.
One things I remember about my friends at that age. We could be fighting like crazy one day and best friends the next. We would get into it for the smallest thing, scrap a while, and the next day it was like it never happened. Part of the reason that was true I think was that the parents hardly ever got involved. Mom would just say, “Ya’ll just work it out.” And most of the time we did.