Summers were my favorite season when I was a youngster growing up in the San Fernando Valley. There was a big solo screen movie theater on Reseda Blvd./Devonshire St. I recall being mesmerized by the rated G film, "Island of the Blue Dolphins", based upon an alleged historical event of a Chumash Indian girl escaping Anacapa Island, and to what is now Santa Barbara, CA.
There were bike rides to McDonald's, for a hamburger, fries and vanilla shake for the ungodly price of $3. We lived on Yolanda Ave./San Fernando Mission Blvd., right below Tampa Street and Wilbur Avenue. There were bike rides everywhere now that I recall. An easy 10 minute ride got you to Alpha Beta and collective allowances, between 4 kids, the first work as a team could get you a bag of Oreo Cookies and a coke. We even used wooden laundry clips and playing cards from one of mom's bridge sets and attached them to the spoke of a wheel to get that real motorcycle sound.
It was the days of street lights; knowing freedom until those light came on. As we grew older, they could be timed to a tee, and punishments became almost nil. You could have all the friends you needed within walking distance or a short bike ride. There were not the high crimes and misdemeanors that have turned almost any neighborhood in the Valley to a target for little kids and allowed gangs or pedophiles to run the show.
One summer, 1975 if memory serves me correct, my parents put an in-ground swimming pool in the backyard. Suddenly, we were going to be the most popular house on the street; at least back then I thought so. We weren't the only house, but one of a few. May to the end of June was a giant dirt hole, followed by disgusting cement/re bar hole that seemed to take forever to finish. Finally came the day of spraying the plaster, placing the tile and then another agonizing 72 hr wait until everything "set". The unveiling of the solar blanket could not come quickly enough. But when it did, there was no stopping us. 4 kids and their friends from the neighborhood took turns launching themselves from the diving board, and performing the hi tech cannonball on unsuspecting observers.
I enjoy looking back before the pool and greenish blond hair my mother was always trying to rectify on my toe head, from the over chlorinated pool at Northridge Park. The days of the sprinkler. The days of running through the sprinklers playing "tag" and avoiding a missed pile of dog poo on a very wet lawn. Then came the fun "Has-bro" hose devices that with one easy application would turn the garden hose into a whirling yellow headed monster or a "Slipn'Slide" where at least one kid sat out the remainder of a summer due to hitting a camouflaged sprinkler head or broken arm. But, man those crazy devices were fun.
Sometimes I wonder if kids today realize the joy of summer vacations, BBQs, camping trips with tents, trips to the beach house, fort building, tree climbing and waiting for the sound of the ice cream man. Life before the pool.
- My husband tells me I am a makebate. So, what's wrong with that? I love to write. I have 2 great kids and 1 grandson. I'd love to say I am "retired" but really, who retires from life? Shoot me a question, comment, rant or rave. They are all welcome here. Love dogs, my family, and most of all, debate. Pro NRA, conservative and a right wing lady.