Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Five - OOOPS!

Okay, so I totally spaced out what day it was when I posted about the movie Monte Walsh. It's not like I don't have three calendars within my line of site here at my desk...sigh...I'm losing it. As a bonus, I'm going to give you more than five things. :)

Anyway, for this week's Friday five I'm taking a walk down memory lane. The summer before my fifth grade year, when I was eleven, my family lived in Colby, Kansas. (You know, from the John Denver song Matthew - Lyrics posted below)

So here are more than five things I remember from the summer I lived in Colby (Population around 5000.)

1. We took classes at the YMCA. Art, Tennis, Gymnastics. Most morning we'd have a class there. My brother, and sister, and I -- well, this was one of the best summers of our lives.

2. Meeting my dad after our YMCA class for his morning break at the Daylight Donut shop. We got little bottles of OJ and a donut. The guys my dad worked with would tease us and make us laugh.

3. After classes and after lunch we went to the town pool. For $.25 you could swim all day. They'd stamp your hand when you went home for supper so you could come back on the couple evenings a week that the pool was open. On the way home from the pool in the late afternoon, we'd stop by the A&W for a rootbeer float. I loved that they kept the float mugs in the freezer and they would be all smoky and frosty when you got them.

4. Playing tennis at night at the town park. We'd show off to our parents the things we'd learned in tennis class, and we'd shag balls for the grown ups. My mom, dad, and uncle all played. The court lights were on a timer and every thirty minutes or so the court would go completely dark when they shut off. One of us kids would have to run to the light pole and press the button for another thirty minutes. Right beside the tennis courts was the kiddie playground, and me and my brother (8) would climb up into the rocket-ship shaped slide tower and watch everything through the little round port-hole windows.

5. My folks and Uncle Fred coaching my sister and my softball team and my little brother's t-ball team. On nights when we weren't playing tennis, we were practicing softball or playing in games. Our team had orange shirts with black lettering, and we were sponsored by the bowling alley, so our shirts read "Colby Bowl" on them. My brother's team shirt was red and said "Dan's Floor Covering."

6. My dog got loose because I didn't make sure the apartment door was shut all the way, and he went for a romp in the pasture behind the building, chasing cows and rolling in cowpies. I was the one who had to get him washed up. He had a ball. Me, not so much.

7. Eating barbequed goat. The guys living next door to us, also telephone employees like my dad, were from Texas, and one night they roasted a goat in a barbeque grill made from a steel drum. We got to eat some. It wasn't bad.

8. In the middle of that summer we went on a whopping big three week vacation. Which will be next week's Friday Five...if I remember. :)

9. My mom bawled her eyes out watching a movie called "The Last Shining Season." She was a wreck when it was done. My dad said when he went into work the next morning, both the telephone switchboard operators were all puffy-eyed and swollen-nosed like mom. When he mentioned the movie, they got all drippy again. Even now if you mention that movie to my mom you'll get a very strong reaction.

10. Driving home to Salina most weekends. 200 miles, one way, then turn around on Sunday afternoon and drive back to Colby. Once when we got home it had been so hot in the house that all my mom's taper candles had melted and were hanging sideways out of the holders. As kids, we thought this was kinda cool.

11. The most important thing that happened to me that summer was that I asked Jesus to be my Savior. July 8th, 1980. :)

I had an uncle, name of Matthew, he was his father's only boy.
Born just south of Colby, Kansas, he was his mother's pride and joy.
Yes, and joy was just a thing that he was raised on, love was just a way to live and die.
Gold was just a windy Kansas wheat field,
blue was just the Kansas summer sky.

And all the stories that he told me back when I was just a lad.
All the memories that he gave me, all the good times that he had.
Growing up a Kansas farm boy, life was mostly having fun.
Riding on his daddy's shoulders behind the mule, beneath the sun.
Yes, and joy was just a thing that he was raised on, love was just a way to live and die.
Gold was just a windy Kansas wheat field,
blue was just the Kansas summer sky.

Well, I guess there were some hard times, and I'm told some years were lean.
They had a storm in '47, twister came and stripped 'em clean.
He lost the farm, he lost his family, he lost the wheat, he lost his home.
But he found the family Bible, his faith as solid as a stone.

Yes, and joy was just a thing that he was raised on, love was just a way to live and die.
Gold was just a windy Kansas wheat field,
blue was just the Kansas summer sky.

So he came to live at our house, and he came to work the land.
He came to ease my daddy's burden, and he came to be my friend.
So I wrote this down for Matthew, and it's for him this song is sung.
Riding on his daddy's shoulders, behind the mule, beneath the sun

Yes, and joy was just a thing that he was raised on, love was just a way to live and die.
Gold was just a windy Kansas wheat field,
blue was just the Kansas summer sky.




4 comments:

  1. #6 made me laugh. Definitely not a Little Princess job. I would have thought the melty candles were cool too.

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  2. Aren't childhood memories great?? I actually have been through Colby, KS several times. It's much like the TX and OK Panhandle where I grew up and lived many years. Loved the song lyrics.

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  3. Sounds like a terrific summer, what fun memories!

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  4. Erica, you sound like my mom--she grew up in a small Nebraska town.

    But you're not old enough to be my mom so :D

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