I grew up on a dead end street. At the end of our street was a block size field of alfalfa owned by the College. Sometimes it felt like we lived in our own little world. We could play in the street without fear of cars. For many years only the middle of the road was paved. The shoulders were gravel and dirt. When it rained or in the winter there was mud. Eventually the City paved the whole street and that was a great day.
We had a whole street full of kids. We lived in Aunt Inez’s house, it was the house that my Father’s family grew up in. After their parents died the home became my Aunt Inez’s. She lived in the basement and we lived on the top floor. My Dad’s Brother and his family lived next door to us and and next to them was my Dad’s Sister and her family.
I remember waking up in the morning to the sounds of kids in the street or the sounds of my next door cousins calling to one another. Or their mother calling them to breakfast. We had no air conditioning so in the summer windows were opened all summer long. Laying in bed to the sound of the crickets or the smell of newly mowed grass. Or the smell of the lilacs in the spring and the other flowering bushes in the summer that grew around our house.
Mother making breakfast and singing in the kitchen. We often had cooked oatmeal or cream of wheat and sometimes cornmeal mush. She often made pancakes or french toast. Some of my favorite breakfasts were when Dad would make poached eggs. He would poach them in cream until the whites were cooked but the yolks were still runny and then they would be served over toast made from Mothers home baked bread. Served with bacon or sausage. The toast soaking up the hot cream and butter. I can almost smell and taste it now.
Each summer the street Mothers would get together and try to set up some rules for the kids. Kids had to get their chores done before they could play. Kids could not go to each others houses until 10 am. They had to be home before dark. Kids were not to leave the street without telling. Mothers needed to know where the kids were. Well these rules lasted maybe a week or two.
Summers in Cedar City were hot. We would turn on the sprinklers and get into our swimsuits and play in the water. The city swimming pool offered swimming lessons in the summer and Mother would take us to the pool in the morning and drop us off. The water was really cold but it was fun to learn how to swim and be safe in the water. Sometimes my Brother Doug would pump me on the bicycle and we would go to the pool by ourselves. After I learned to ride a bike I would pump my younger brother Richard and we would go to the pool and the park.
There was a dirt ditch that ran south of our street that was used to water gardens. When water was running in the ditch we would wade and play in the water. We would race sticks and pretend to fish. We would try to make dams but then we would get into trouble because someone down the line was trying to water their garden and we were slowing the flow.
We would all get together and sleep outside in our sleeping bags either in Uncle Reid’s yard or ours. Uncle Reid’s yard was better because it was away from the street and the street lights. It was great laying there at night and looking at the stars and trying to pick out the big and little dipper and wondering if God was looking down on us. Cedar was still a small enough town that you could see the stars.
There is just too much to talk about so I think I will end this for now and write more later.