Monday, November 29, 2010

When I was a kid

We lived in Guss, Iowa; I was six years old.  My parents were the switchboard operators.  
Guss isn't even an incorporated town; back then it consisted of our telephone office, a blacksmith shop across the road, and Hampell's store, just up the road.  Our address was Villisca, not Guss.
The people across the road were the Mitchells.  Alvin was the blacksmith and his wife's name was Lois.  She didn't like to do laundry much:  her wringer washing machine was in the smokehouse, and she'd pile all the dirty clothes out there on the concrete floor until there was a huge mountain of clothes.  Sometimes she'd go shopping and buy new clothes for her kids rather than do the washing, which drove my mom crazy.  
My dad would go over and visit with Alvin and other local men at the blacksmith shop.  I remember the pop machine there, and the taste of Tyler grape soda.  I recall the naughty calendar hanging on the wall with women in suggestive poses.
We'd go across the road to the Mitchell's house at night sometimes, and the adults played cards.  Me and the Mitchell boys would amuse ourselves in whatever way we could.  Sometimes we'd draw pictures, but it was pretty boring because the boys only wanted to draw pictures of cars.    
Gary Mitchell was a year or so older than me; Lloyd was perhaps a year younger.  That's what it seemed like, but after consulting, they may have both been older than I.  
I remember Alvin telling my mom once that he was going to pick her up and carry her through the house; she told him he couldn't lift her, and he proceeded to pick her up and carry her through the house.  
For some reason, I wasn't too happy with that.
One summer day I went across the road to play with the boys as usual, and the older one decided we should play the "you-show-me-yours-and-I'll-show-you-mine" game.  In fact, he was going to force the issue and make SURE he saw mine.  I certainly did not want to see his!  
I hit him as hard as I could and went home and told my mom.  
I was scared to go over there again, so that was the last time I ever played with them.  
I really missed those boys.  They were the only kids around.  
Please don't think I was traumatized by this; no damage was done.  The main thing I remember is how lonely I was after this incident, having nobody to play with.  My mom didn't tell me not to go over there again, but I didn't want to play with them any more.  It was just too uncomfortable.



Adirondackcountrygal said...

I think all kids play Dr. at one point or another!

Lori said...

There was an old song, I think by the Louvin' Brothers called "Buy, Buy, Buy", and one of the lines in it was, "You buy so many outfits/One for every day/But you don't clean them when they're dirty/You throw them away." And this entry made me think of that. I never would have thought that anyone would actually do that! lol As for the boy, I'm glad you didn't let him intimidate you or bully you. I expected you to hit him and then tell on him, and you didn't disappoint me! That's what Eler Beth would have done! lol