Thursday, March 8, 2012

When I was just a little Girl

Merrilee, Bonnie and Cynthia Vold, 1949
I remember playing in the Shell Rock River in our back yard, pulling off the blood suckers on a daily basis in the spring, summer and fall months.  I remember the picnics in the park on Sundays with the concerts; not to mention ice skating in the winter months and pulling my sister, Bonnie, out of the river when she had broken thru the thin ice.  We had to run down the river to the little dam to grab her and pull her out.  I remember going down to the quick sand area with both of my sisters and getting in trouble for going there.  We had to pick our own "willows" from the Willow tree to get our punishment.  We knew not to pick a thick one or we would be in more trouble.

I wonder if any of you remember a little girl we went to school with - she had red hair and I think it was kindergarten. Her father owned Red's Beer Bar on Hwy 65 north of Main Street as you were heading towards Albert Lea. She moved to Paris, Missouri. I cannot remember her name but I can still picture her face with fair skin and filled with freckles and the long red curly hair. We played together in the little park behind Main Street on the swings. I was swinging up so high the legs would come off the ground. One time I fell out and passed out from losing my breath. I was with that little red head and she went across the street and got someone to help me. She was a good friend.

I remember going to the fairgrounds and spending $2.00 to finally win an adorable little blue "colored" baby duckling.  I brought it home and put it in my doll house. Her name was Babs Vold. When I woke up in the morning there was duck s*it all over my bedroom.  My mom and dad made me put it outside with Duke (our retired Springer Spaniel hunting dog).  Duke took care of Babs as though it was her own.  Babs thought she was a dog as she grew up, losing all of her baby fuz and getting feathers.  She slept in the dog house with Duke.  She got to be about 20 pounds and I painted her toes with finger nail polish.  Duke and Babs would walk up to Main Street from the house and go to Al's Cafe.  If Duke didn't wait for Babs to cross the street, Babs would quack until the dog came back and walked her across the Highway.  They were fed all the scraps from the restaurant.  They would start their trip home and they would be so full they would have to stop and take a nap in front of Doc Allison's office where there was a small patch of grass.  They would continue their walk home in about a half an hour.  One day just prior to Thanksgiving Babs did not come home with Duke.  We imagined she became a Thanksgiving dinner for some family,.

I remember playing hide and seek  and "I Draw the Frying Pan"  in the summer months with the Fistler boys, Ralph Thompto, Cheryl Grube and a few other kids.   I remember going to all my neighbors and asking for their magazines and then selling them back to one another for a quarter.  I remember setting up a lemonade stand on Hwy 65 on Blackmore Hill to make money to buy my bike at the Saturday night auction.  Those auctions were just amazing to think back on and how the auctioneer talked so fast and went thru his entire barn filled with items to sell.  I remember riding my bike with Cheryl, Bonnie, Bonnie Mack and Patsy Kohler.  We would ride out to Table Top and Top Table (just west of town under the lst or 2nd bridge) and play on the cement blocks in the water. 
Merrilee Vold 1st Grade
I remember playing "movie stars" in the basement with my sisters.  Cynthia was always "Marilyn".  I played Mitzi Gaynor and I think Bonnie played Doris Day.  We would put on plays and charge a nickel to get in and watch.  My mom had made Dandelion wine earlier in the year and it was bottled and placed on shelves in the basement.  One day we heard all this noise - like a gun going off.  All the corks popped out of the wine bottles - my family the bootleggers!  Thank heavens we were not down in the basement doing one of our skits.

I remember my mom frantically sewing all of our Easter dresses 24/7 for 3 or 4 days before Easter Sunday and being so exhausted to make us look so pretty in our new Easter dresses and matching Easter bonnets, she couldn't make church with us... I remember taking all my May baskets over to Mike Lien, Chuck Hendrickson and Keith Loan and I would run like the dickens so I wouldn't be caught .  If you were caught you would get a "kiss".

I remember having a slumber party on the outdoor patio upstairs; pulling the mattresses out and making up a bed for 3 or 4 girls spending the night...only to come up and jump into bed and the Fistler boys, Billy Roberts and Ralph Thompto had filled it with little garter snakes.  I hated snakes after that!

I remember playing with Joan Olson after school in her garage and we found a huge rat - it must have been a foot long and a foot and a half long tail.  Stan Forde's mom, Rose (later to be my sister Cynthia's mother-in-law) ran out from the kitchen when she heard us screaming and beat the rat to death with a big broom.  We couldn't thank Rose Forde enough for saving us.

I remember riding with my Dad out to the farmers to deliver gas on Saturdays with our rifles and Max, our hunting dog.  My uncle bought me my own hunting rifle when I was eleven so I got to go pheasant and duck hunting with my Dad.  Such fond memories and fun we had on those special Saturdays. 

I remember playing in the snow with all the neighbor kids - building our snow forts and having snow ball fights.  I remember laying down in the fresh snow and spreading our arms and legs to make an angel - such sweet and innocence that children have when they are youngsters.  And, it is so different today; how I wish that my grandchild, Jayden,  could have shared some of these memories and way of life.

I remember my first Girl Scout dance in 6th grade - I invited Wayne Gaskill...He picked me up and we were going to walk to where ever the dance was - my mom in tow as she was one of the chaperons.  It was wintertime and icy all over.   I  came down from the front porch, slipped on an icy step and shoved a 45 record that was in my hand right thru my lip - missed the dance and had to go get stitched up at Doc Allison's.

I remember the roller skating rink and falling in "love" for the first time with an adorable boy by the name of  "Sonny Lau" from Austin.  I think he had two brothers and I had no idea he was my cousin until years later. How much fun we had at that rink - dancing to the 50's music. It seems that every time I liked a new boy in that last year year I was in Northwood, I would find out later that he had been a cousin.  Three of you classmates probably never knew you were my boyfriends because we kept them a secret - just in our hearts.

I remember my most favorite teacher,  Mrs. Helgeland.  She was the best teacher ever.  She was teaching us to write a report and telling us just how the opening "topic sentence" was so important.   I remember writing my report on The Mandrill   It started out like this  "The reason I picked the mandrill is because it reminds me so much of my sister..,."  She loved it and called me up to her desk after class and told me  I had received an A on my paper.

I remember what fun I had with Betty Ryan.  We would just sit and laugh at one another and had such a good time together. We would giggle so much we cried.   Friendships never die and they can be picked up right where they are left off. 

From left: Bonnie,Rose, Ole and Merrilee Vold with niece
Roxanne Forde.  The Volds moved from Northwood
to California
I remember how excited I was when Mom and Dad told us we were moving to California so they could afford to send us to college.  We had been out to visit relatives a few times and it was an awesome place.  Now we were going to move there -  Yippee, Hurray - how lucky could we be?  Then the time came to leave 3 months later and I had second thoughts.  I didn't want to go anymore.  I didn't want to leave Northwood, my friends, my roller rink, my river...but it wasn't my decision.  We were moving whether I wanted to go or not.

On on way to California we stopped in Denver to see the Loan family.  They had lived in Northwood earlier. and moved after second grade.  They had 3 boys, Keith, in our class, Dennis and Dean.  The boys took Bonnie and myself to Mile High Park in Denver and we went on all the rides.  The roller coaster was 200 feet high and was just the most awesome ride I had ever ridden.  I was thinking about Keith this past week.  Lee and I were communicating about roller coasters and I shared my trip to Denver.  He shared his first overnighter was staying with Keith (known as KiKi).  I went to the internet and did a search for Keith Loan in Denver and found a reference moving to Port Angeles, Washington.  His mother is still alive and living in Iowa City at 94 years of age.  Keith was in the Air Force and was in Lybia when Kaddafi took over.  We have his contact information if anyone is interested in connecting with Keith.
From Left: Stephanie Davidson (friend of Bonnie), Bonnie,
Merrilee, Rose, Aunt Rose King, and Ole Vold
1960 Santa Monica Beach
I remember visiting Northwood after we moved around the time school was starting so I was able to attend school and see all of my old friends.  By then (high school)  Kensett and Northwood had merged together.  Staying connected has been wonderful.

Both of my parents wanted to return to Northwood when they died.  It was home to them and it will always be home to me.  Northwood I thank you for my friends and for the memories that have lasted me a lifetime.

1 comment:

  1. This is a neat story, Merrilee. This prompts me to write about my childhood memories. Some are quite similar.


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