Well I see by the ole clock on the computer desktop and my cell phone that it is time for another Blog. Last Blog I told about my Tomato and Oyster experience. After Dad returned from the Navy, we also returned to the fire station.
I remember that I spent a lot of time playing in the club room where we had the oyster stew feeds that I shared with you in the last Blog. You know I have observed that when you are younger, things seem much larger than when you are older. This phenomena happens and I can't really say why it happen. That's like a lot of things. Things happen without an explanation. I have learned not to spend time trying to figure some things out and remain much calmer and not stressed out.
I played many different things in the club room but one of the most prevalent games I played was basketball. I would pretend I was a professional basketball player. I placed a small cardboard box above one of the doors in the room.. The top of the box was open and there was a hole I made in the bottom of the box for the ball to pass through. I hung the box over the top of the door by one of the top flaps of the box. I used a tennis ball as my pretend basketball and shot many times from different places around the pretend basket.
I would bounce the ball as if to be dribbling the basketball and have a "one man game" with myself as I pretended to be a whole team. I would also shoot "free throws" from a predetermined place in front of the door where the box basket was hanging. I would sometimes see how many baskets I could make in a row as a special sideline game.
In addition to playing basketball I also would run my toy trucks all over the floor of the club room to pretend I was running a special trucking company. I spent hours playing in the club room because I was not able to play outside. There was no yard to play in, only an alley to the side of the brick building. There was a small are of grass where dad had placed two polls and strung rope for a place for mom to hang clothes to dry after they were washed. I did play in that small area when there were no clothes hanging on the lines.
I remember one time when I was given a very large box that a refrigerator had been shipped in. I decided to use it and build a "fort "over a hole I had dug along the fence to the side of the clothesline. It was a cool fort and I invited my friend, Robert, to play in it with me. We had alot of fun playing "Army" and using the box fort as our headquarters until one day Mom put a stop to it. She had seen a rat go into our box fort and told me not to use it anymore and to tear it down. I did but was not too happy.
It was interesting because I noticed that my dad usually did the clothes washing and mom would hang them out to dry on the clothesline. I figured out that since the laundry area was in the back of the fire station downstairs and it was pretty dark back there, dad decided to help mom do the washing. As it turned out he ended up doing the washing most of the time. I guess he enjoyed doing it.
Grandpa Rich built mom two rinse containers that fit along side of the Maytag washing machine. They were filled with plain clear water and used to rinse the washed clothes as they came out of the washing machine. First rinse then a second rinse to make sure all of the soap was removed from the washed clothing. Then after the final rinse the clothes were rung out and placed in a laundry basket to be hung outside to dry.
Directly adjacent to the laundry room was a room where there were lockers for the firemen to place their personal things and a large shower area and a toilet.
I many times used the shower and enjoyed taking a shower there because I could turn on both faucets that had a shower head at both ens of the shower room. I could stop up the drain with a towel and cause the water to fill up to the height of about 1 foot. I would then pretend it was a swimming pool and I would play in the water for long periods of time.
In the evenings we would sit out in front of the fire station with the two large doors open exposing the fronts of two of the three fire trucks. We watched the people; cars and trucks pass by in front. I would play fireman and back my tricycle up to the fron of the trucks and pretend to get calls to go put out fires. One time there was a reporter from the Spencer Times, another newspaper there in town, come and ask my parents questions then in a week or two there was a story printed in the Spencer Times about me. I had saved it for many years but eventually lost it in my moving around. I had so much fun. I didn't think I ever wanted to move away from the fire station.
I also spent many hours playing fireman sitting in the cab of the fire trucks and pretending I was driving the truck. Today I would not be able to do that. The EPA has laws that prohibit the playing on equipment that may be of danger to the one playing on it.
My next Blog will be entitled "Growing up in Spencer" Dave's Blog. Hope you enjoy hearing about my adventures as a young boy growing up in a fire station on the Main Street of Spencer, Iowa