Saturday, April 25, 2015

When I Was Young, Part 3


Alona Tester of LoneTester HQ geneablog has a geneameme up.  It looked interesting, so I’m going to play along.

“Like it or not, life today is a whole lot different from when we grew up. And as genealogists and family historians, we are mindful of recording our own history, yet so often it doesn’t happen, and sits in the “I must do that” list.

So this “When I Was Young” geneameme has been created to allow you to record at least some of your childhood memories. This series of 25 questions will take you back to your childhood as it asks questions about the games you played, what school was like, what heirlooms you have from your childhood, what books or stories you remember from back then … and a whole heap more.
So if you’d like to record a little of your own childhood history, feel free to take part in my “When I Was Young” geneameme.”

Since the list is 25 questions long, I decided to split my response into parts.  In this last part, I’ll do the remaining questions.


  1. Do you remember what it was it like when your family got a new-fangled invention? (i.e. telephone, TV, VCR, microwave, computer?)
Our telephone was old.  Rotary, party line, etc. until after I moved out.  We got a color TV when I was about 4 years old.  I remember watching some stuff on it when we lived on the farm. That TV lasted until I was a teenager.  It was a Philco model.  We got all of 4 or 5 channels!
I don’t remember specifically when we got most of these items.  I do know we got a VCR fairly late, and a microwave as well.  In fact, our oven heating element burned out at one point, so we cooked with the microwave a lot for a long time.
The first computer we got was a Timex Sinclair 1000, a tiny membrane-keyboard device with a whopping 2K of onboard RAM plus the and-on 16K RAM expansion pack!  Mom and Dad got it as a gift for listening to a time-share spiel and gave it to me.  It had a Z80 microprocessor CPU and the connection to the RAM pack was flaky, so if you bumped it at all, you lost everything as it rebooted the machine.  This would invariably happen after typing in about 80-90% of a long program…
  1. Did your family have a TV? Was it B&W or color? And how many channels did you get?
As mentioned, we got a color TV when I was about 4 years old.  We did have a black & white model before that.  And 4-5 channels on a good day.  Channel 2 was KTCA public broadcasting.  Channel 4 was WCCO, the Minneapolis CBS affiliate.  Channel 5 was KSTP, the Minneapolis ABC affiliate.  Channel 9 was KMSP, an independent station out of the Twin Cities.  Channel 11 was the NBC affiliate.  It changed call letters at some point, and is now KARE, but I don’t remember for sure what the original letters were.
If we turned the antenna, we could get KCCO, the Alexandria feed of WCCO and another CBS affiliate.
All of these channels were weak, and on bad days would be quite snowy.  On good days, they came in pretty clear.  We were about 60 miles away from the towers.
  1. Did your family move house when you were young? Do you remember it?
We moved several times when I was quite young, but I don’t remember it.  The last was when I was about 5, almost 6 years old, we moved from the farmhouse into St. Cloud, where we stayed put.  My brother is still living in that house today, though my parents did finally move out to an apartment a year or so ago to get away from the home maintenance burdens.
  1. Was your family involved in any natural disasters happening during your childhood (i.e. fire, flood, cyclone, earthquake etc.)
We weren’t affected by any of these directly, although there were tornadoes in the area, and one specific tornado event devastated a mobile home park a few miles away.  Those places sure seem like magnets to a tornado.
  1. Is there any particular music that when you hear it, sparks a childhood memory?
My musical awareness starts in the 1970’s, although I enjoy music from the 50’s and 60’s as well.  But the new stuff was all 70’s AM Radio Gold, and later arena rock.  No real memory sparkers here.  Oh, one particular song by Chicago reminds me of 3rd grade, when they did a dance unit in Phy Ed, they used Wake Up Sunshine for the music.  I enjoyed the song then, and still do today.
  1. What is something that an older family member taught you to do?
That would be parents.  They taught me everything parents usually teach their kids to do.  No special hobby or other stuff, just general.  My father was a sports nut, and I was emphatically not, so that didn’t translate.  Mom worked nights a lot, so wasn’t around sometimes to teach, and in any case, she wasn’t into space and science like I was.  Different interests.
  1. What are brands that you remember from when you were a kid?
If it says Libby’s Libby’s Libby’s on the label label label you will like it like it like it on your table table table…
I am not now, nor was I then, a big Brand fan.  Many of the brands then are still around now, though a few have changed, or been absorbed by larger brands.
  1. Did you used to collect anything? (i.e. rocks, shells, stickers … etc.)
At one point I had a collection of stamps – all cancels from envelopes.  Nothing of any value.  I’m sure I collected other stuff from time to time, but never seriously.
  1. Share your favorite childhood memory.
Honestly, childhood wasn’t all that great for me, I don’t have any favorites I can think of, other than what I’ve already talked about above.  I’m sure I had lots of good times, but in my memory it’s all blended into that time I’m glad is over and done with. Things that stick out tend to be less pleasant memories like neighborhood bullies, etc.  I was the proverbial 98lb. weakling, and learned how to run or evade the bad kids.



A special thanks goes to Randy Seaver of Geneamusings blog for running this geneameme in his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun series, where I saw it and decided to play along.



This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2015 by Daniel G. Dillman

Saturday, April 18, 2015

When I Was Young, Part 2



Alona Tester of LoneTester HQ geneablog has a geneameme up.  It looked interesting, so I’m going to play along.

“Like it or not, life today is a whole lot different from when we grew up. And as genealogists and family historians, we are mindful of recording our own history, yet so often it doesn’t happen, and sits in the “I must do that” list.

So this “When I Was Young” geneameme has been created to allow you to record at least some of your childhood memories. This series of 25 questions will take you back to your childhood as it asks questions about the games you played, what school was like, what heirlooms you have from your childhood, what books or stories you remember from back then … and a whole heap more.
So if you’d like to record a little of your own childhood history, feel free to take part in my “When I Was Young” geneameme.”

Since the list is 25 questions long, I decided to split my response into parts.  In this second part, I’ll do the second eight questions.

  1. What games did playtime involve?
Many of the usual kids’ games.  Kickball, cops & robbers, etc.  I used to play outside a lot as a kid, which would probably amaze people who know me now.  We used to ride our bikes all over the place.  This was before the era of the 24-hour news cycle that got parents in a panic about letting their kids out of their sight for more than half a minute.  The sad part of this is that even though I would let my kids go out and do stuff, they don’t leave the yard much.  I think they’ve absorbed through cultural channels that it’s no longer okay to go off and have adventures without parents around.  And I think that’s a sad thing.
  1. Did you have a cubby house?
If you mean a fort or playhouse, no.  We didn’t have suitable trees, nor really any other workable places to build such. 
  1. What was something you remember from an early family holiday?
My parents took us to Mt. Rushmore when I was about 12 years old.  I still remember the campground we stayed at on a hill overlooking Rapid City, SD.  I took my kids on that same trip when they were in that age range.  The campground is still there, though we stayed at another place.
  1. What is a memory from one of your childhood birthdays or Christmas?
Birthdays weren’t super memorable for me, nor are they a big deal now.  I know I had a few birthday parties when I was younger, but I really don’t remember them much.  I had one cake with little plastic space ships and other toys on it once.  I have a summer birthday, so I never got to have a birthday party in school the way some kids did.  I usually brought cupcakes or something on one day anyway, just to celebrate.
Christmas was always fun for getting new toys for presents.  I remember one year my brother and I inadvertently found some of the Christmas presents early, and we got found out, so we didn’t think we would get the presents because Mom was angry.  We did get them anyway, one item was an air hockey setup. Most years we got to open one thing on Christmas Eve night to keep us from bugging Mom about opening the rest until Christmas morning.
  1. What childhood injuries do you remember?
I didn’t get many.  One I do recall was from when I was quite young.  I was being given a ride on the back of a bike from a girl (memory now fails if she was a relative or a family friend’s daughter) and somehow my right foot got caught in the rear wheel spokes.  Crashed us both to the ground.  They ended up taking me to the doctor, and put a cast on it for a couple of weeks because they weren’t sure if it was broken or not.  Turns out it wasn’t.
  1. What was your first pet?
First I remember was a cat named Cigar.  I remember almost nothing about her, as she died when I was just turning six in 1972.  After that, we got a dog, a Pekingese-Terrier mix named Angel.  She was with us for many years.  I don’t generally go for small lapdog types, but she was a sweetheart.
  1. Did your grandparents, or older relatives tell you stories of “when I was young ..?”
I don’t recall this being a facet of my youth.  In fact, we lived far away from any relatives, so we only got to see them once or twice a year, and then the grownups spent their time talking together, not really with the kids much.  Only later, when doing genealogy questions, did I get older generations to open up about their youth.
  1. What was entertainment when you were young?
Saturday morning cartoons.  Going to the movies was a special treat.  We mostly made our own entertainment as kids, playing in the neighborhood.  I did like to read a lot.

I'll post the next set of questions and answers in a future entry.

 
A special thanks goes to Randy Seaver of Geneamusings blog for running this geneameme in his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun series, where I saw it and decided to play along.



This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2015 by Daniel G. Dillman