Saturday, June 7, 2008

East Side, West Side?

Like John, I wanted to comment on Glen's description of his early years growing up in Heavener. Even though I rarely crossed the tracks during my grade school years (except going to and from school), I learned that we did about the same thing on my side of town, as Glen was doing on his side.

During those hot summer months Glen spoke of, I don't remember complaining about how warm it was. Like he said, we really didn't know anything different...until we went in Tates or the Liberty Theater. If I remember correctly, my family didn't even get a swamp cooler until after I left for college. What we DID have, though, was a window 'exhaust' fan that worked great at night, drawing air from outside, through the windows that were always open. As warm as it sometimes was at night, it's amazing how cool it would feel by morning. Later, the window fan was replaced by an attic fan that did the job even better.

Like I mentioned above, I grew up on the East side of town. Being young and not wanting to spend half one's time walking or running all the way across town (my parents didn't want me riding a bike on the streets that far), like most kids at that time, we gathered in our own neighborhoods to find ways of entertaining ourselves.

On some afternoons, we would play baseball in the summer. Usually it was in someone's yard. When I drive by my old home on East Ave B these days and see how small that back yard is, I wonder how we ever had a baseball game in it. Of course the trees were much smaller then (or non-existent) and we were much smaller, as well. I don't recall anyone ever breaking out a window. In the Fall and Winter, we would play touch football. Some of the kids in my area were Larry Gardenhire, Roy Gene Edge, Butch Gilstrap, Ira Franklin, Billy Holt, and others. We could usually round up enough for a game of some kind.

On summer nights, it was kick-the-can, just like Glen, John, and others, were doing on the West side of town. Sometimes it might be 'Annie Over'. When conditions were right, we might forgo games and just catch lightning-bugs (fireflies, I guess they're called now). Whatever we did, though, I can't remember anyone ever complaining how hot it was. One thing about it, though, we usually did what we were doing until we got that call from our parents that it was time to come in. There wasn't any TV to watch back then, so that usually meant bedtime.

My son finds it hard to believe that you could mow a yard with a mower that didn't have a gas engine attached to it. Of course we did, as Glen mentioned. Ours was yellow...I remember that well. Not only was it hard to push, but in order to do a good job, you had to cover just about every push, twice...sometimes, three times! I'll never forget the day that my Dad brought that new green Lawnboy mower home. That was one of the neatest contraptions I'd ever seen. I didn't mind mowing the yard for awhile...until I got used to it.

There was one thing I don't remember ever doing on my side of town. In the winter, during those rare 'good snows' that us kids always dreamed of seeing again, I don't remember ever doing any sledding on our side of town. We had some hills, all right, but they just didn't seem to be as good as what the West side kids had. I'm talking about the hill that bordered the North side of the grade school property....and in front of the First Baptist Church. If we had any snow that I felt might be sticking around for awhile, I'd beg my parents to take me over to the West side where the "good hill" was. I can recall days when there were so many kids sledding down that hill that you almost had to make a reservation at the top. Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT crowded, but there were lots of kids there. It seemed like you could slide forever once you got going good.

That's it for now...


At June 8, 2008 at 3:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck, thanks for the memories ... from you and Glen. We used to go sledding up at Mark & Scott Farley's house all the time. West side or East side, it didn't matter, Heavener was such a good place to grow up. Kids today don't realize what they're missing. I remember going to Tommy Hayne's house a bunch to play baseball. He didn't live too far from you, did he?

At June 8, 2008 at 6:53 PM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

Thanks for the memories. Kids were kids no matter which side of town they lived on. I remember having a treehouse in the tree behind the shed at the back of the Davis's house. We used to go up there and harass the girls playing across the alley in another shed by tossing little sticks at them and then ducking down out of sight. We also played "rubber guns" with strips of inner tubes stretched on our "guns". It was a goood time!


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