Archive for the ‘Childhood Memories’ Category

52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy – Movies – Old Yeller…

by Sherry Stocking Kline

I’m trying to blog along with the “52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy.”  As you can see, I’m more than a little behind.

Week 12: Movies. Did (or do you still) see many movies? Describe your favorites. Where did you see these films? Is the theater still there, or is there something else in its place?

This challenge runs from Saturday, March 19, 2011 through Friday, March 25, 2011.

I grew up on a wheat and dairy farm, about 10 miles from the nearest theater, and my folks were not rich, so we didn’t attend movies a lot.

They used to show movies on the side of buildings…

I learned after I was grown that many of the small towns in our area used to show movies on the side of a building and folks came to town, sat around in cars and chairs, visited, snacked, and made a Saturday night get-together out of it.

In fact, that used to be one of the ways that the merchants ‘lured’ people to town to shop, and then they stayed open on Saturday nights.

My husband remembered doing that, and him just a year ahead of/older than me, but I sure don’t remember it at all.  I wish I did.  It sounds like a wonderful way for small towns to spend some Saturday night fun together.

I Remember When We Saw Old Yeller…

I was eight years old, which means my brother Gary would have been twenty when “Old Yeller” came to our local historic Regent Theater (now newly renovated re-opened)

My brother asked me if I’d like to go to a movie with him on Saturday night.

And I’m all like “Me and you?”

And he was like ‘Yes, me and you!”

I thought he was kidding, I mean he usually went out on a date or out with his friends.

So, he got all Saturday-night-dressed-up, and I did, too, and we met up with one of his friends who had also brought along his little sister.

They bought us popcorn and pop, and sat us two rows in front of them. (Close enough they could watch us along with the movie, but maybe not so close that everyone knew we together, you suppose?)

On the way into town, my brother warned me that the movie had a sad ending, and that “Old Yeller” was going to die at the end.

With all the superior wisdom of an eight-year-old that knew that Disney movies did NOT have sad endings, I told him he was wrong, that it wasn’t going to end that way.

And of course, he said “yes, it does.”

Life Doesn’t Always Have a Happy Ending…

Well, come to the end of the movie, and us little girls are sitting there sniffling about that little boy having to kill his dog, “Old Yeller” because he has rabies, and he’s all like “I tried to tell you”, and I’m sniffling and saying “they didn’t have to kill him….”

I think maybe that was my first introduction to the notion that movies, and life, doesn’t always have a happy ending, and that sometimes you simply have to do things you don’t want to do.

But when I look back on it, it was a good memory, and a really unselfish thing for a twenty-year-old big brother to do.

I wish he were still here so I could say “thank you….”  one more time.

My brother, Gary…

Carnival of Genealogy – Nancy Jane and Other Cars that we Loved…

by Sherry Stocking Kline
April 1, 2011

Gary, Dorothy & Fred Stocking - maybe dressed for church

My mom and two brothers, Gary, Dorothy & Fred Stocking - maybe dressed for church, with "Nancy Jane" before I was born.

Cars were an important part of our lives on the farm. They took me to school, helped herd dairy cows, took us to town for groceries, to the elevator for supplies and nickel pepsi’s, and  made ‘blood runs’ (high speed trips) to the parts store when the combine or tractors broke down.

Nancy Jane…

Our cars had personalities (some more ‘congenial’ than others) and Mom always, always,  named them “Nancy Jane.”

“Nancy Jane, you start now, we need to get to church,” she might say as we hurried off to church on a cold morning.

“Nancy Jane, don’t you dare get stuck,” she’d say as we slid sideways down slippery, muddy unpaved roads to and from our home.

It always seemed to me, growing up, that after Mom called the car Nancy Jane in a firm, encouraging, and sometimes scolding voice that the car made an extra effort to do exactly what Mom asked.

After she spoke to it,  ‘Nancy Jane’ nearly always came through for us.

Do I talk to my vehicles?

Surely you jest!  Of course I do!  How else are they going to know what’s expected of them!

“Come on, Baby,  we gotta go pick up the granddaughters from school….”

 

Week 11 – Chicken Pox times Four – Illness – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

by Sherry Stocking Kline
March 19, 2011

At first no one knew what the little red,  itchy, dots were. They thought it might be allergies and that being the case, my three nephews were exposed right after I came down with “it”, whatever “it” was.

And then they thought it might be measles.

But it was not measles.

It was Chicken Pox.   By the time our parents figured out what I had, the boys, my nephews, 2 1/2, 4 1/2 years, and 6 1/2 years younger than I, were coming down with it, too.

So we were  miserable together.  We didn’t have air conditioning in our little farm home. It was summer in Kansas. It was Hot.  How in the world did we ever live without air conditioning, anyhow?

We had what was referred to as a squirrel cage cooler that ran air over water from an outdoor hose. It just barely cooled the air down, and it moved it around fast enough to blow your hair, and you had to talk loud to be heard over it.  It also added humidity to the air, so on hot, humid, muggy, days it was like trying to breath under water with that thing running.

No one wanted four miserable whiny kids in the house…

Anyhow, no one wanted four miserable itchy, whiny, hot kids in the house with them, so our parents set up old green Army cots under the shade tree by the water hydrant in the back yard, just a few feet from the back door in the shade and the south wind.  They probably gave us some books and coloring books,  and then they parked us outside in the breeze.

If we had a television then, and I can’t remember if we did or not, there were only three channels and few things that kids would be interested in watching.  I don’t remember much more about that time, except that we were sick, itchy, and bored beyond distraction.  We were close to a sand pile and a water source and we didn’t feel like playing, so we laid on the cots, scratched, and whined.

Fortunately for me, I got it first, so I got over it first, and so I was able to escape our exile sooner than my nephews could!

 

Sounds of My Childhood – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Challenge

by Sherry Stocking Kline
March 17, 2011

Many of my childhood sounds still surround me.

I grew up on a wheat and dairy farm in south central Kansas and I’ve not moved so very far from where I grew up, so the turtle dove that sings in the evening near my city home reminds me of nightfall on the farm.

When I visit friends or family in the country I hear bobwhite quail calling their mates, cattle lowing as they crop the grass, and occasionally the mournful midnight howl of a  coyote.

We actually have fox, deer, and coyotes that roam in our little  area of our small city at night, especially near the creek that runs through town. Wander around near my neighborhood after midnight, and you may spot a deer family grazing in someone’s yard or a fox or coyote hurrying to get out of the headlights of your car.

In the spring, summer, and fall in the country you can hear the sounds of tractors running in the fields, and see the dust they stir up blowing in the wind. It reminds me of when I used to ride on the fender of the tractor with  either Mom or Dad while they worked in the field,  or when I ran barefoot in the furrow behind the plow with our collie dog, Lassie.

In June and July, if you drive by Kansas wheat fields with their golden stalks blowing in the south wind, you can hear the sounds of wheat harvest: combines running and spewing out the spent stalks from the back and trucks traveling in low gear to get out of the field as they hurry to deliver the grain to the nearby elevators.

It reminds me of hot, sweaty, but fun days riding the combines first with my daddy, then with my brothers, and later my husband as they kept an eye on the clouds, worried about the weather, and hurried to get the wheat cut before the rain or hail came.

It brings back memories of the field picnics we had, much like today’s tailgate parties, with sandwiches and potato chips on paper plates and trying to catch the potato chips that were blowing off your plate.  Nothing tasted as good as the cold iced tea from the gallon field jug and no picnic was as much fun as eating in the field when the men stopped for a few minutes to eat, talk about the harvest, eye the clouds for rain, and predict the yields before climbing back on the combines and cutting late into the night.

At night, the combine’s lights shine on the golden stalks as the reel pulls each one hungrily, whooosh, whooosh, whoossssshhhhhh into the combine’s auger and then threshes out the grain and dumps it into the bin behind the driver.

I loved to ride the combines, especially at night, when the heat of the day was gone and the breeze combed your hair with its fingers and cooled your skin with its touch.

And the wheat beards whispered secrets in the wind.

 

 

 

 

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…

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