Archive for the ‘Childhood Memories’ Category

Sentimental Sunday – There is No Joy in Joyland Today…

by Sherry Stocking Kline
Sunday, September 5, 2010

There is no Joy in Joyland.

On Sunday, July 18th, I received an e-mail forward from a cousin that said “Stan Nelson, owner of Joyland died today.”

Darn.

So I checked Wichita Eagle’s website at Kansas.com and found this article by Beccy Tanner “Joyland a theme in Nelson’s life”.

My cousin’s email also included the link to a  photo slide show by Mike Hutmacher, Wichita Eagle, with photographs of the long-closed and now sadly in disrepair Joyland.  ( Click Here to view the slide show, complete with calliope music.)

It was the sideshow that prompted this post…

The slideshow begins, and there it is, Joyland.  Larger than life when we were children; the stuff of dreams. There’s the bridge we used to run over to get to the magic inside. Now it’s covered with wind-blown leaves.    Deserted.

And there are the rides. What’s left of them.  Where is the Merry-go-Round with its fiery steeds? And where are the bump-em cars that we drove fiendishly into all our friends with all the the precision of drunken sailors?   Both gone.

The Tilt-A-Whirl, part of it, remains, looking like deserted teacups from a giant’s forgotten  tea party.

Can’t someone please rescue the train…

And the  little steam engine train that could (and did) take you around the park, in and out among the trees, over a little bridge, and by your family picnicking in the pavilian, while all the while going rackety-clackety-clack, and Whoooo-uh-ooooooo when it came to a crossing .  The train, a favorite ride, sits waiting for passengers to go again. (Oh, please, can’t someone rescue the train?)

And the roller coaster.  Falling, faded white boards.  Surely this can’t  be the terrifying ride that traumatized me so when our eighth grade class went there on a field trip that after one ride up, down, and around on the rattly track I wouldn’t  climb back on it , not for all the tea in China and not even for the chance to sit with the cute little green-eyed, blond-haired boy that asked me to go again?  Surely this short, faded pile of wood isn’t the same one.

And there’s the ferris wheel, minus the little ‘people buckets’ that swayed and swung as you went up, over, and around and around, terrifying twenty-something young-mom-me, holding onto my tiny daughter for dear life, afraid to look down.

Joyland.  Even the name brings back a kaleidoscope of memories: the night my nephew, Daryl, just barely younger than I pitched a fit so instead of staying home with a sitter, we all got to ‘help’ his folks chaperone the youth group, falling asleep in the back window of a car on the way home letting the stars lull me to sleep.   (No seatbelt laws then and no seat belts, either.)

Church picnics, family picnics, and ride-all-night-nights…

There were church picnics and family picnics and ride-all-night-nights-for-$5.00 church nights. And my goodness, look at the sign, a ticket for a nickel.  The rides are gone along with the prices.

And while the rides may be gone, and the grounds may be deserted, we still have the memories.

Thank you, Mr. Nelson….

Treasure Thursday Great-Grandma McGinnis Sang For Abraham Lincoln in 1860

Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Campaign Rally

Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Campaign Rally


Great-Grandma McGinnis Sang for Abraham Lincoln…

This photograph has been in the family for some time and my Great-Grandma Margaret “Maggie” (Corson) McGinnis, (my grandma Maud Stocking’s mother) told her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that she was a child in this photograph in the wagon on the lower right hand side of the photograph with the sign that reads “Let Me In – Kansas.”

Great-Grandma McGinnis said that she and other children sang for then candidate Abraham Lincoln on this day.

According to my Uncle Herb, and my brother Harold (a.k.a Fred), (both of whom were old enough to remember the story well) Great-Grandma Maggie said that Mr. Lincoln stopped, bent down, and spoke to her about “letting Kansas in” to the Union as a state.

There she was, just a little girl, at a Turning Point in History…

Wow!  There she was, just a little girl, being spoken to by a man who was then a candidate for president.  Can you just imagine?  Did they have any idea that they were at a point in history that would lead to such historically memorable events as the Civil War, the ending of slavery, the assassination of a President, and other major turning points in our country’s history?

In light of what was to come just a few years later, it is no wonder that Great-Grandma shared this story with her children and grandchildren.

I’ve seen this photograph on-line in several places, so I know it must have been a popular photograph in that time and era and I’m glad that Great-grandma Maggie had a copy of this photograph and shared this story with her family.

Other Related Posts:

Corson Family Info:

Wordless Wednesday – Margaret Corson McGinnis’ 100th Birthday

You can learn more about the Corson Family, Book and Association Website Here.

My Corson Family Website and Happy Dance Post is Here.

Three Hundred Years With the Corson Family in America.

McGinnis Family Info:

My Maggie Corson/McGinnis Happy Dance!

Carnival of Genealogy – My Poem to My Ancestors

Maggie’s Husband:
Amanuensis Monday – Thomas J. McGinnis Obituary


Wordless Wednesday – Kenneth Jones Fishing

by Sherry Stocking Kline
07 April 2010

I love this cool photograph of one of my mother’s favorite cousins, Kenneth Jones, fishing!   It looks like he is fishing on a fairly large lake, perhaps even Lake Superior itself.

He also fished and hunted for agates (he was an avid and knowledgeable rock hound!) on many of the lakes in Minnesota near their home in the outskirts of Duluth, Minnesota.

Kenneth Jones, Minnesota, Fishing

Kenneth Jones - Fishing

Thanks to Kenneth, and those fun vacation days of hunting agates along the shores of Lake Superior and another beautiful Minnesota lake, I’m still a bit of a rock hound!

We’ve lost touch with Kenneth and Lois’s children, and would love to re-connect with them, so if by chance one of them (or their children) find this blog, I hope you will stop and say ‘hello’ and leave your e-mail address!

Other Related Posts:

Kenneth’s Mother – May Breneman Jones

Kenneth Jones Toddler photo taken in Wichita, Kansas.

Kenneth Jones in front of his Kingman Kansas High School.

Kenneth’s Grandfather, Constantine “Tom” Breneman and his buggy horse photograph.

Kenneth’s Grandmother, Salinda E. (Rose) Breneman, photo and tombstone photo.

Wordless Wednesday – Kenneth Jones

by Sherry Stocking Kline
03 April 2010

This week has been a busy week, so I’m late posting again!  Maybe next week will be more on time, but spring is here, and my green thumb is itching like crazy, so we’ll see!

Kenneth Jones Baby Photo - Taken in Wichita, Kansas

This is a neat photo of one of Mom’s favorite cousins, Kenneth Jones.  The first time I remember meeting Kenneth, it was at their home on Morris Thomas Road in Duluth, MN when my folks took us all for a visit.

Kenneth was a ‘rock hound,’ something he and my mom had in common, and we enjoyed looking for agates along Lake Superior and another lake.  We also had great fun swatting mosquitoes while picking wild strawberries, riding the neighbors little pony, and picnicking.

We’ve lost connections with Kenneth’s children, and I hope that somehow, someway, we can re-connect, and that if they find this website, they’ll take a minute to say “Hello! “

Related Posts:

Kenneth Jones – in front of his high school in Kingman, Kansas.

Kenneth’s Mother – May Breneman Jones Willey in front of the Jones’ home on Morris Thomas Road in Duluth.

Kenneth’s Grandfather – Constantine “Tom” Breneman and his horse and buggy.

The Big Green Tractor… Music Monday

Sherry Stocking Kline
January 8, 2009

I grew up around tractors. Lots of them. Big ones. Little ones.  ‘Tricycle’ front end ones like my dad used to cultivate the cattle feed and squatty little red and green tractors with big wide fenders perfect for children to ride along with their parents.

I don’t remember my first tractor ride…

I don’t remember my first tractor ride. I was much too young for that to ‘stick’ in my memory.

I do remember countless hours riding on the fender, hanging on, then getting off when mom or dad stopped (yes, they had his and hers tractors) and running in the furrow behind the plow, my bare feet pounding the sun-warmed damp earth.

I watched out for fishing worms (and picked them up if there was any chance we might go fishing soon).  Little baby bunny rabbits ran to get away from the tractors (and me).

Back then,  the long, muley-eared jackrabbits were a common sight in Sumner County, Kansas.   Now, jackrabbits are pretty rare.  I’ve not seen one in a good, long, time, but I have it on good authority that they are still around.

Nowadays children would be taken to a baby sitter…

Nowadays children would be taken to a baby sitter while mom and dad worked, but mom was a ‘work at home’ (or in the field) mom, and I went along. Mom and Dad’s day began at 5:00 a.m. when Mom and our collie dog Lassie brought the dairy cattle in to be milked.

After they milked, dad took the truck with silage in it out to the pasture and the feed bunks to feed the cattle while mom came in and got ready to feed the people in our home, which in the time period I’ve got in mind included Dad, myself, and my brother, Gary.

After breakfast, if it was spring, summer, or fall, Dad and most often Mom would head to the field on a tractor.   Not the fancy ones like they have now with air conditioning and GPS, just plain red, then later yellow, and much later the green John Deere’s made their way onto our farm.

I always felt sorry for city kids…

Those were good days, and good memories.  I know some city kids would feel sorry for me, no swimming pool around the corner, and no park to go swinging in.

But I always felt sorry for city kids (like my own kids later on) who didn’t get to ride on tractors and combines each summer, who had to play in a postage-stamp-sized back yard instead of a quarter section with pasture and creeks full of pollywogs and crawdad, and who never got to watch baby chicks scurry around after the mama hen, and baby calves grow from awkward to adult.

Wordless Wednesday – Dad & Dimples

Sherry Stocking Kline
January 20, 2010

This is going to be an almost wordless Wednesday.  My mom was going through old photos this week, and found this gem of my dad, Harold F. Stocking, Sr. (mostly known by his childhood nickname of “Jiggs” all his life)  and his favorite registered Ayrshire cow, “Dimples”.  This was, I believe, before I came along, as I don’t remember her at all.

My folks were wheat and dairy farmers in south central Kansas (a.k.a. tornado alley) and they raised and milked registered Ayrshire cattle.

Harold F. "Jiggs" Stocking, Sr. & Dimples

Harold F. "Jiggs" Stocking, Sr. & Dimples

Mom said that Dimples was his favorite, and that he was very proud of her, but she developed some health issues and was sold.

If my dad were still alive, today, January 20th,  would be his 99th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

More Stocking family memories & genealogy here…

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – A Day at Camp Wentz

by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 17, 2010

Here’s my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – one day (almost two) late!

Hey there, it’s Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver at Geneamusings!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music!), is:

1) Remember when you were 12 years old? On a summer day out of school? What memory do you have of fun activities?

2) Tell us about that memory (just one – you can do more later if you want to) in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook.

I was twelve years old. And it was my second trip to Camp Wentz.   My mom and dad thought it would be good for me to go, and they were right.

At Camp Wentz, the day began with giggly, groggy girls dragging out of their bunk beds, and hurrying to the bathroom cabin. In my case, I struggled each morning to tame my past-the-waist-length sun-streaked-blonde hair into scruffy braids, then walked the 100 yards or to to eat breakfast in the dining hall and watch for the cute blond kid I had a crush on. (oh, be still my twelve-year-old heart)

I learned how to Braid plastic keychains…

Then there were crafts in the dining hall where I learned how to braid plastic key chains and lanyards as gifts for my parents.  I was much better at braiding those than my hair.  (I brought home a keychain for mom, and a watch ‘chain’ for my dad’s pocket watch, which he promptly put on his watch, and then unfortunately it broke within the first week I was home)

Then there were devotional studies, and my absolute morning favorite, the one hour swim time before lunch.

Then lunch (more keeping my eyes peeled for the cute blond kid) and afterwards back to the cabins to rest and write letters to our parents back home.

My mom still has and still laughs about one of my first letters back home with the quote:

“Hi Mom and Dad,     I miss you,  but not very much…”

Then it was time for late afternoon swim. I loved going swimming, and turning into a prune didn’t worry me, and that was before we knew that sunburns had long-term consequences, so I spent all the time I could on outdoor activities and swimming.

So much so that when I went home I shocked my mother who said that I “was brown as an Indian”  and she spent the whole next week trying to scrub the tan off of my neck, convinced part of it had to be dirt. (I swear a couple of times it felt like she was using a pot scrubber on me…)

Located on the side of a hill, Camp Wentz with it’s limestone cabins, many trees, and lakeside location was very picturesque.

Every night as we sat on the side of a hill for our devotionals the lights of the city across the lake twinkled in the distance.  Sitting on the side of the hill, listening to lessons about God’s love for us, watching the sun set (and yes, fighting the mosquitoes and watching for the blond kid) we sang Bible school songs and hymns.

“We are Climbing Jacob’s ladder….”

And every night, after devotionals were over, as we climbed back up the hill we sang “We are climbing Jacob’s ladder…. Every rung goes higher, higher…  our flashlights bobbing in the dark like little fireflies as we wove our way back to our cabins where bedtime prayers and ghost stories blended together in the time before sleep came.






Christmas Caroling – Advent Calendar Challenge – December 21st

Sherry Stocking Kline
December 21, 2009

Thanks to Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers for today’s Advent Calendar Challenge:

Christmas Music

What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?

My family always loved music and I grew up listening to carols on the radio first, then 45 rpm records, then a stereo, then a tiny (by then standards) battery operated transistor radio.

Today, there’s music on the stereo, computer, smart phone, and  iPod!   It’s so easy to listen wherever you are.

Mayfield Federated Church

Mayfield Federated Church

Growing up near the tiny town of Mayfield, Kansas, our church youth group at the Mayfield Federated Church (a Methodist and Presbyterian combined church) always went caroling.

Our group would set out on foot (remember, it’s a tiny town) in the cool, crisp air, and it was always a fun and joyous evening of laughter, singing, and wishing the townspeople, mostly seniors, but often others who had been ill and shut-in, a very Merry Christmas.

Our pastor and his wife usually led the singing and ‘herded’ us from house to house.  There were many of ‘Grandma age’ in our town, and  many of them had grandchildren in the group, so they knew each and every one of us,  were often called Grandma by many who were not their grandchildren, and they were always delighted to see us!

A side benefit we often enjoyed was that several of them were extremely good cookie bakers, and we might be given cookies to enjoy while walking around the town.

After the caroling was done for the evening we’d gather back at the church for cookies and cocoa, and then sometime walk down to the school’s gymnasium for indoor games.

I know the seniors enjoyed the carols, but the fun and fellowship for all of us was priceless.

Christmas Advent Challenge – Christmas Pageants!

Sherry Stocking Kline
December 16th, 2009

Thanks to Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers for his daily blogging (and memory) challenges…

Christmas At School

What did you do to celebrate Christmas at school? Were you ever in a Christmas Pageant?

Oh, my gosh, the Christmas pageant. How could I forget?  (Maybe because I’ve tried hard to?)

I attended a fairly tiny little school in a small town in Kansas. Eighty kids in the whole school, grades one through eight. That’s right, no kindergarten, and no middle school.

We had roughly 12 to 14 in our class at any given time, four classrooms, and two classes in each school room.

My very first experience in the program was when the folding wall dividers of the school were folded up, and parents poured into the school to watch us on the stage.  A couple of years later, there was a stage in the gymnasium, and we held our programs there.

Everyone was in the Christmas program…

Everyone was in the Christmas program.  Everyone.  Even people who couldn’t sing, people who couldn’t act, painfully shy people, and people like me who couldn’t sing, act, and were painfully shy.

Do I have horrible memories of the Christmas pageant?  No, but it was a long time ago, now, or seems like it, and the memories are all jumbled together.

Memories of waiting on the steps up to the stage, every kid full of Christmas excitement and too much Christmas candy, teachers threatening everyone within an inch of their lives if they didn’t quiet down, didn’t behave, or didn’t remember their lines.

He ran to the bathroom to ‘toss his cookies…’

Of course, the older kids got the more responsible, leading roles, and so the older we got the more responsibility we held.  One year the excitement got to one boy, and he ran to the bathroom to ‘toss his cookies.’   I felt his pain.

My one (and only)  shining moment as a lead in a play came when they needed someone to play the part of the daughter who honors Santa Lucia, the Swedish saint. (Read about that tradition here.)  Celebrated on December 13, the oldest daughter dresses in a long white dress with a red sash, and a wreath of leaves and candles (or battery powered tiny flashlights in my case) white socks and no shoes.

Because I had long, nearly waist length blond braids, I was a shoe-in for this part. It was my job to serve bread cubes to the others in the part of the skit.  Whether I was good or was lousy I can’t say, but it was my last leading role…

Advent Calendar Challenge – Other Traditions…

Sherry Stocking Kline
December 11, 2009

Thanks once again to Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers for today’s Advent Calendar Challenge!

December 11 – Other Traditions

Did your family or friends also celebrate other traditions during the holidays such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Did your immigrant ancestors have holiday traditions form their native country which they retained or perhaps abandoned?

My Stocking ancestors came from England in the 1630′s, and while they inter-married with those of Scottish and/or Irish descent as well as Native American, whatever traditions any of them might have brought with them have been long lost, or interwoven with more recent American ones.

On my mother’s side, I’m still trying to knock down the brick wall that a man named Jones who marries a woman named Smith creates.  I’ve read in a book  that speaks about our Smith family history that we have Welsh and French on that side.

For my family, it was all about Christmas Eve…

For my family, wherever the tradition came from or whether it began with my parents, Christmas was all about Christmas Eve. We gathered together, Dad, Mom, my youngest brother (still older than myself), my oldest brother and his growing family, and we exchanged presents.  And we all knew that the presents that night came from our parents and grand-parents, not from Santa.

But the Christmas Stocking was what held the magic! It came from Santa himself!

Here is an excerpt from mountaingenealogy.blogspot.com that sounds like my experience, too!

“And we aren’t talking about the rather large, decorative stockings of today. These were literally their stockings [socks] that they wore on a daily basis.”

We didn’t have a fireplace, nor even a wood stove, so we pinned the stockings to the couch, usually the side nearest to the door, as that was where the jolly old elf was believed to come into our home!

The stockings that we hung had to be our own!

The stockings that we hung had to be our own! So the presents that we got when we were little were, well, little!

I remember getting tiny little animals that I loved to play with, and most often they were tiny little horses with cowboys and Indians to ride them and sometimes there was candy in the toe, and a barrette for my long honey-blonde braids.

And the good thing was, that as I grew, the socks grew, and the presents became bigger!

How exciting it was to ‘graduate’ from not-so-stretchy little Buster Brown cotton socks to extra stretchy (and longer) bobby socks!  Much more room for goodies!

My children used to ‘cheat’…

I continued the hanging of the Stocking’s with my children, though they were allowed to ‘cheat’ and particularly the youngest more often than not scoured the house giggling and laughing, comparing one sock to another while she hunted for the largest stretchiest stocking available, most often her Dad’s calf high athletic sock.

A good thing, that, as they sometimes found their favorite music CD all tucked in with other goodies from Santa.

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