Friday, July 1, 2011

When You're A Kid

   When you're a kid, you don't think about the old people who you visit with your parents.  You go with your mom to your grandma's home and if there are no kids there you sit around and read comic books or watch the clock. At least that's what I did.

   Grandma Moody had a white digital clock. This was in the 1940's and 50's. Yes, a real digital clock, but it wasn't electronic. It must have had wheels that rolled around like the odometer on a car, at least an older car. It was often quiet at Grandma Moody's, especially  when no cousins came, so I'd sit and watch that clock turn. The seconds went by: 25..26..27..28, and I'd wait for the next wheel to click over onto the next minute, or the next hour.

   When there were cousins there, I'd run with them through the woods. Grandma Moody lived on Glatt Street in Eureka, California right across from Sequoia Park which is a redwood forest. There were huge redwoods there, and trails, and soggy creeks, and a duck pond, and even a zoo, and if you went far enough you'd come out on the other side where there was a playground and picnic area.
Uncle James Stephens on the left, my dad third from left.

  The picture on the right was from one of those family reunions at Sequoia Park, but I don't remember much, because I was running through the woods.

   The most fun just came from chasing cousins through the woods, or picking huckelberries, or climbing stumps. There were giant stumps  that must have been 15 feet across, and those stumps were hollowed out by time, so you could climb up on top, probably ten feet up and drop down into a stump. Sometimes it'd be hard to get back out, but the old first growth redwood (probably from the 1880's) was soft, so you could dig your toes and hands into it and scramble up.

   When I go back there now,  the forest seems so tame, so quiet, and so peaceful, but then .... it was exciting, sweaty, and full of fun, except when there were no cousins. If there were no cousins at Grandma Moody's I'd sit on the couch because the forest was dark and scary, especially after I saw the Wizard of OZ.

   So I don't remember the old people. I don't remember Edna or Jim Stephens, except from a few family reunions. Today it seems so sad that not many people are going to remember Aunt Edna or Uncle Jim.

   Jacque, my sister does remember them. She wrote this comment on facebook under my first picture of Edna:

Jacque Smith: "She and uncle Jimmy came to Eureka a few times. She was at my woman's   softball game when I sprained both ankles! They were fun."

Jacque gave me a large box of pictures from Edna and Jim Stephens. I decided to find out who the people were in the pictures. I didn't know any of them.


  1. I love this!

    So, within the last few years my parents bought my great-grandparents' house in Bakersfield, CA. You know this one, Gooby helped fix-it-up. This was a place that I remember seeming like an enchanted forest outside and my great-grandma always had a big bowl of chocolates on her reading-room table inside...

    Of course, I remember my great-grand parents and the funny things they said. I especially remember running around the backyard, which seemed like a "forest" with my sisters when we were young. I tell Covey and Sam all about that...

  2. It's too bad our kids can't somehow get into our mind and "see" how things were.