Those Early Kid Days
I was just thinking about some of my early kid days. You know what I mean, those days of trying to earn your way to summer camp. One of those times, it was selling soap. The brand I remember was called Rosmell. I guess it was a takeoff from a combination of rose and smell. Funny, I don remember trying to put the two words together then be that sixty years of life makes one look at things differently. I remember even having my picture taken for the local paper, the San Diego Union, which we had delivered to our small suburb subdivision called Fletcher Hills. I remember traipsing around the neighborhood saying, I trying to raise money to pay my way to summer camp uggs on sale . Would you like to buy some Rosmell soap? I don know if it was any good or not, I didn use a lot of soap in those days. I do remember that my best customer was my mom. Bless her.
Now that I think about it, I don even remember if I ever made enough to actually fully pay for summer camp. If I did go, it must have been a real unforgettable experience since my memory slate has been wiped almost completely clean. What I do recall is pretty hazy. All those things like paddling around in a canoe, and swinging on a tire into the lake, and stories at bedtime by our counselor to make us laugh as if we were too big to be scared. Though after we went to bed, we would have nightmares most of the night and would curl up in our sleeping bags spread out on the steel spring cots and wishing we were back home. Nope, I don remember having any of that fun.
The weather is mild enough in southern California that temperatures never seemed to be a factor in anything we ever did. We could play outside all year. The threats of drought and wildfires and earthquakes and snakes were always present, but us kids didn worry about them much. Those were big people problems, not ours.
They still there. My local school, my old house and all the nearby houses I used to prowl around on Halloween. I stalked that neighborhood with my paper bag gathering more candy than the bag would hold when it was torn usually hap uggs on sale pened after about the first hour. All we had were the large paper sacks we got with our groceries; nobody had plastic bags in those days. I imagine the perfect bag would be a canvas tote bag, but no one I uggs on sale knew ever had one of those, although I suppose they existed. We be out for hours gathering as much junk as we could. The stuff we got varied. I never cared much for apples. Why would anybody stick a kid with an apple? Now a candy apple on a stick that was different. Those were pretty good, but it was hard to eat a whole one after I had been pigging out on the soft candy for a while first. I would just throw the center part of stick and apple into someone bushes and move on. Those houses with real good chocolate had to be hit several times, of course, just like the hard candy houses were despised and note was made not to go there the next year. Sometimes it saved a lot of effort to catch a departing trick or treater and ask what they got at that place. At the very best homes were usually the ones with the most lights and spiders on webs and stick witches out front would sometimes join another group going to the door so the inhabitants wouldn notice it was my third or fourth time.
Then there was the local elementary school. It was new and opened when I was in the middle of my fourth grade. That was great. I didn have to travel real far on a bus anymore.
It funny what I remember so vividly about that school. I remember hanging around it in the fall which was also football time of year. We used to join for combat on the playground. For one thing, the playground was entirely dirt. Well, technically it was decomposed granite, which is like tan colored Grape Nuts. We never had any padding or other equipment, just jeans and tee shirt. We always played tackle, too. Most of the guys I played with were older and got to throw and catch the ball, so I just played line something position and used try to grab somebody play maneuvers. I used to like to place a two hand vice grip on the the ball carrier around the ankles when they were running and force them to trip flat on the ground while I was being dragged several feet with gravel being scooped up in my trousers and thrown into my formerly white tennis shoes. We have to wait until we got home to scrape the embedded gravel out of our knees and elbows since there weren any first aid supplies anywhere handy.
Several days before the school officially opened, I was racing down one of the outside cement hallways on my skates. They were crummy skates for sure. They kept twisting around at angles, as they didn clamp real well to my tennis shoes. The right one always curved left while the left one wobbled a lot. I hit one of the cracks on the hallway (which we used, as it was the only cement in the whole town) and went flying uggs on sale . I hustled home and reported to my mom that I broke my arm. It wasn too bad of a break, but I did need a cast. Consequently, my first several weeks in class were a little more difficult than they might have been otherwise. One of the most disturbing things about those weeks was that the cast was some kind of rough gauze that got hard after being saturated with a smelly liquid. It wasn even real good smooth plaster, so nobody could sign it with a pen. How crummy is that?
Several years ago, I went by the school. Nowadays they have the playground all surrounded with chain link fence and even locked gates. Funny, but I didn feel any compulsion to sneak in there on the gravel and throw myself down chin first from a running position while I held on to someone ankles. Imagine that.