My last Blog "Beginning of My Life Part 1 ended with my cousin, Webb and I, playing in our garden. I was about to tell you the story of our "Tomato" adventure. That is where I will begin Blog 3.
In the garden where we spent time shelling beans and peas that had gone to seed there was also tomato plants that still had tomatoes that had not been picked off when they were harvested by my mother and aunt.
Some of these tomatoes had started turning red and presented a big temptation. We then thought it would be fun to see the tomatoes hit the back of the stucco house and watch then splatter and run down the side of the house. What we had not considered were the consequences from the fun we thought we would have doing that.
You need to keep in mind the stucco house, the tomatoes and our desire to have fun throwing them at the house. After we had exhausted ourselves at the tomato tossing game we went on about our business shelling beans until mom and aunt Imajean came out to see what we were doing.
It was at that point that the manure hit the oscillating blades of the fan. Needless to say, both of them were very upset. Rather than giving us both spankings, they got a pan of soap and water and a rag for both Webb and me and instructed us to wash off the mess we created to the back side of the stucco house. We were to get no treats of meals until the mess was cleaned up to their satisfaction.
We worked at cleaning off the leftover tomato residue for what seemed to be hours, but it wasn't that long. After they thought we had learned our lesson they told us we were never ever to throw anything at the house without their permission. We also discovered a new use for the toy dump truck that Grandpa had given us. We used the dump truck to load the tomato remains into and haul them to the garbage cans in the back ally of the lot the house was on.
Those were our consequences for our tomato throwing adventure. We spent our free time playing in our sandbox and riding our tricycles up and down the sidewalk.
When we were not outside but instead playing in Webb's bedroom we had fun pretending that his bunk bed was a ship and we sailed all over the world in it. We did this until we got tired and fell asleep.
Many times we would walk to Grandma Rich's house. She lived on East 4th street. In order for us to get there, we walked South across the railroad tracks until we came to East 4th Street. It was about 3 block away. We would then turn left and walk East for a fairly long way until we reached the end of East 4th Street. There was one house between her house and the East city limits of Spencer.
The house on the corner belonged to a doctor and his wife who was also a doctor. Doctors Christianson were their names. Across the street North of their house was the house of Mr. Jackson. Mr. Jackson was the publisher of the Spencer Daily Reporter at that time. He had children, of which I played with. Billy, one of his boys was about my age.
Webb and I had great times at Grandma Rich's house playing in her basement. It was where she stored all her old clothes. Web and I played "dress-up" and had so much fun. We also would play grocery store and use food pictures that we would cut out of the old magazines and newspapers. We had "play-money" that we used to make our purchases.
The next major event I can remember was my dad coming home from the Navy and moving back to the fire station to live. My next Blog "Beginning My Life Part 1c" Dave's Blog 3 will be written next. See you then.
The fire station was a large brick building with two large doors in the front and a small door. The small door was the entrance to where we went up some stairs to our apartment and the rooms on the top floor. Our apartment was one of two apartments where the full-time firemen and their families lived. The other fireman's name was Ted Underwood. Ted had a wife, Jennie and a daughter Jean. Jean would take care of me sometimes when Mom needed to be gone. There was a small bedroom across from our front door where Jean had her bedroom. There was also a large room across from Ted's apartment that was called the club room.. It was used to hold the fire meetings once a month. All the firemen would gather in that room and have their meeting.
In the months that had an "r" in their name like Octobe"r", Novembe"r", Decembe"r", Janua"r"y, Feb"r"ua"r"y, Ma"r"ch, and Ap"r"il we always had an Oyster Stew dinner before the meeting. I learned that oysters were only available in months with an "r" in them.(This is a true fact.)
It was always a very fun time for me. I would be allowed to help in the preparation of the special Oyster Stew dinner. I remember two of the firemen always prepared the stew. George Franklin and Gil Hodges*. In addition to the stew we always had oyster crackers, chunks of cheddar cheese and small cut baloney hunks. I would help set the tables with spoons, forks and knives plus napkins. I would set large bowls of oyster crackers spaced out all along the set tables. The most fun was watching the gallon cans of oysters being opened. These were raw oysters and would sometimes have small red crabs in them. We, of course, would remove the crabs from the raw oysters. George and Gil would sometimes take a raw oyster in a spoon and eat them raw with a cracker. I never was brave enough to try it.
Milk was heated not boiled to just the right temperature, the oysters were heated in butter until they started to curl around the edges, then placed into the hot milk and let simmer until we were ready to serve. Boy that was good. Once I ate so much, when I got sick, I thought it was from eating so many oysters. I later discovered I had gotten the three-day flu and it was not the oysters that caused my getting sick. For many years after that I only ate the stew and no oysters.. Eventually I went back to eating oysters. There was always Oyster left over that was given to the two families that lived there. We had lots of oyster stew.
My next Blog "Beginning My Life Part 1c" Dave's Blog 4 will be written next. See you then.
* Their relatives may remember these two firemen . I would like to know if there are any of their relatives reading this!