Friday, April 23, 2010


I lived at this address from 1966 - 1972.  Carefree years, for the most part.  Kids could be kids and didn't have to be watched constantly for fear of the unknown.  We ran Rainbow Drive as if we owned it and we surely thought we did.  Lots of families lived on this street and the kids all ran around together.  Oh, there were the different age groups, but we could all get together and just have fun.  OK, so my brothers & the older boys on the block could be mean, but all in the name of fun!  I can laugh at it now even if at the time I thought I would be scarred for life!

We were all hidden anywhere we could - behind cars & trees, beside houses.  Kids, lot of kids, had just watched the older kids in the neighborhood run a clothesline between two trees that were across the street from each other.  They had hung a dummy from it and it was unseen high up in the trees.  Now we were just trying to stay hidden, trying to stop the giggles and laughter, waiting for the next car who would be driving through.  We waited, not knowing if the people in the car would find it as funny as we would when the dummy was dropped in front of them as they unknowingly became our next victim.  Screeching tires. Screaming drivers.  Car doors flying open as well as flying kids who tried to find a better hiding place now that we knew they weren't finding this funny at all.  Unfortunately, many people failed to see it as humorously as we did! 

There must have been 20 kids who played together most days and nights.  Kick the can.  Witches.  Hide 'n Seek.  Tag.  Any game that could be thought of, or created, we played.  Playing baseball in the backyard.  My big brother getting hit in the chest with a baseball and I was so scared because he couldn't breathe!  The clubhouse in our backyard built by my brothers who dubbed it the Heaven's Devils Clubhouse.  (The Hell's Angels were very well known back then!)  The teasing that went on between the girls and boys.  The first crush.  The second crush.  Watching the cotton-filled baby doll blow up because someone (yeah, I know who!) had put M80's in the head.  Raining cotton everywhere!  My hula-hoop torn apart at the seam and put quickly back together.  Around a big tree limb, of course!

I remember us as being an inseparable group.  We went to school together - Somerset and Meadowbrook Junior High.  And I'm sure we had to have our fights. C'mon, we were kids!  But for the life of me, I can't remember one fight.  Although I do remember when one of the Vogt boys was asked what song would best represent someone loving me he sang "The Impossible Dream"!  Silly boy!  Was he was being prophetic?  Or maybe he cursed me?  Hmmm.......!!! 

Our parents knew each other and talked to each other.  (They also made sure each parent needed to know what the kids were up to!)  They actually helped out when it was needed.  We knew most of what was going on in each family and what they were doing.  Like the time the roofer fell off our roof.  The neighbors said he must have gotten into Mom's homemade wine.  Yep, they all knew about it and had probably tasted it! 

I remember a party that my parents had and most of the neighborhood families showed up.  The adults inside playing cards, talking, smoking, drinking and talking about whatever adults talk about.  (I know now what they talk about and it isn't so different from what kids talk about!)  Kids outside, screaming, yelling, running, just being kids, like kids should be.  Carefree.  Innocent.  Childlike.  Because we were.

Do you hear the bell clanging?  The kind of small metal bells teachers used to have on their desks?  That's what my parents used to call us in to dinner or bed or just in.  Saved them from sore throats because the bell could be heard further than a yell. 

And then 1972 came and my family left Rainbow Drive.  Left Madge, Kelly, Joey, Debby, Mark, Larry, Ethan, Evan, Eddy, Pam, Mark, Valerie, Greg, Phillip, Benita, Bunny.  And so many others that I can't remember at this time.  That was the last year I saw any of these kids - kids who helped shape my life.  Kids who let me have fun.  Kids who were fun.  And I have always held that time on Rainbow Drive safely tucked in my heart.  Believing that it was a time that was gone but would live on forever because of the memories.  Never expecting to see or hear from any of them again because of the years between us.  Ahhh, good times, really good times!

But, oh, the power of technology and the far reach of Facebook!  After 38 years, four of these families have reconnected because of this social network.  Not all the kids but a few.  Whodda thunk? And you know, even though I see current pictures, I can't really think of them as adults.  Because in my mind, we will always be kids, having a groovy time on Rainbow Drive.  Sunshine Days!  (From the Brady Bunch but I may be way off on the year!)  Doing what kids are supposed to do - be kids! And until I see some of these kids face-to-face, they will still be kids to me, running up and down Rainbow Drive.  Red Rover! Red Rover! Send Greg right over!

P.S.  I reserve the right to have my memories as the way I remember them.  We all have different perspectives and I like my rainbow colored memories!