Sunday, May 6, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Recall a Summer Day When You Were 12

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing has another great topic this week.

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

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 if you want to) in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook.  Please leave a link to your own post in comments on this post.

3)  Have you told your children and grandchildren about your childhood memories?  You really should.

It was 1966 when I was 12. In that summer, I had just finished up 6th grade at Parkmead Elementary in Walnut Creek, California, and we had a whole summer before starting 7th grade at Parkmead Intermediate, which was located right next door to the elementary school.

A typical summer was breakfast of cereal that we served ourselves. Then outside to play until called for lunch, when we had peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Then outside again until dinner. We didn’t go on vacations as a family—too many kids. There were five of us that summer. I was the oldest and the youngest would be born that December.

We had a huge area to play. Our street was a tree-lined, country lane in the middle of a city. Four houses on our side of the street and four houses on the other. At the top of the street was another side street with a few houses. My friends, Joanne and Susan, lived in one of them. There were empty fields around some of the houses and fruit trees that handled our mid-morning or afternoon hunger.

At the end of the street was Las Trampas Creek with a dam. In the summer, the water was low enough that we could cross the creek using the top of the dam. Further upstream were places that deep pools were created where we could swim. Along the creek were toe paths that we used to quickly get to the gas station where we could buy bottles of Coke.

The creek was a fun place to play. First pollywogs and then little frogs were everywhere in the early summer. All along the creek grew what we called bamboo but was really Arundo, was a place where we made forts. I loved to sit along the bank in the shade and read—mysteries were my favorite. I probably read most of the Nancy Drew books that summer.

I also got to go to Girl Scout day camp at Twin Canyons in Lafayette, California. Joanne’s mother volunteered that year and she brought me along. We were a small Cadette group in the Bay Unit. I don’t remember too much about the camp except we cooked in the outdoors, hiked in the hills, and sang a lot. There were no flush toilets at the time, but latrines that we had to clean. (Girl Scouting has changed since then—girls don’t clean toilets. The camp now has toilets and a swimming pool, too! But they still cook outdoors, hike, and sing.)

Probably going to camp was the highlight of that summer of 1966. I am very thankful for Mrs. Gerow in taking me along.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Sometimes, the good old days really were the good old days! It's sad that that life is long gone.

    1. What is sad about the good old days is we didn't take lots of photos like we do today. I couldn't find any images of 1966, except my 7th grade school photo.


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