“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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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