Aug 1: Share another memory about a ride.
Another time we took the train down to Joliet. It seemed to be a very long way
and I remember that the train station in Chicago was very large. I think we
spent a couple of weeks in Joliet and we visited
Grandmother Schuck and
Aug 2: Describe your childhood home.
The first home I really remember was the house at 1327 Carney Boulevard
in Marinette. The house was very big and our bedrooms were on the second
floor. We had a very large sun porch that seemed to cover the front of the
house. The house had a separate garage with two cement paths as wide as the
wheels of a car that went down the side of the house and led to the garage in
the back yard. There was an alley that split the block on the other side of
the garage. We had lilac trees and a bed of Lilies of the Valley. I had a dog
named Rufus. He was a red cocker spaniel and we would play and chase each
other in the back yard.
Aug 3: Describe your neighborhood.
All the houses seemed big but I was small and although there were seven
of us living in our house, I’m not sure if the other houses had large families
too. The boulevard was lined with trees and we had large yards to play in. St
Joseph’s Catholic Church was on the corner and I remember that the bells would
ring in the morning, noon, afternoon, and early evening.
Aug 4: Tell of an experience climbing a mountain or big hill.
For years I would tell
Geoffrey about the times we would
slide and toboggan down this big hill in City Park. I remember paths that went
down all sides of the hill; which were favorites and which were scary. Then in
1999 I took them to see the great hill in our park. It was barely a bump. The
mind plays tricks on you.
Aug 5: Tell a memory about having company at your house, or of a family party.
One Christmas day we were eating our dinner and one of my friends, Mike
Kerrigan, came by to see what gifts I had received. Mother said we were eating
dinner but he could wait in the other room if he would like. Then she asked
him if he might like to have something to eat too. He said he didn’t mind if
he did and he sat down and ate a full Christmas dinner. That was at four
o’clock in the afternoon and later we learned that his family had their
Christmas dinner at noon… and he went home for a lighter evening meal at six
Aug 6: Tell about board games you played as a child.
We had a board that would fit on a card table which had net pockets in
the corners. It was the base for many games. We played checkers and chess on
it and then caroms or pool and I think on the other side of the board you
could play Chinese checkers. Later we added games such as Monopoly, Clue, and
Aug 7: Tell about card games you played.
games were Old Maid, Hearts, and Rummy. Later we learned Poker, Twenty-One,
and such local games as
Schafkopf and Euchre. Pinochle and Bridge came much later – when I was a
Aug 8: Did you ever have a weight problem as a youth?
I’ve always had a problem with my weight.
Aug 9: What was your best talent?
I’ve always felt I was good at writing and I had a quick mind for
Aug 10: Tell about a time when you got lost.
I don’t think I have ever been lost really. I have been disoriented for
a time before I discovered where I was or I lucked out and found a landmark
that I recognized.
Aug 11: Did you ever play in the sprinkler or hose?
We always ran through the sprinkler or sprayed each other with the hose
when it got hot in the summer.
Aug 12: Tell about being stung by a bee or wasp.
I remember the time I thought I felt a mosquito on my head and a
slapped it. It was a wasp and I couldn’t believe that it stung me on both my
head and my hand. It was very quick!
Aug 13: Did you have any favorite family songs that you sang together?
As a group of songs, I loved going caroling every Christmas. I was and
am particularly fond of What Child Is This.
Aug 14: Tell about your bedroom.
My bedroom was at the top of the stairs, first door on the right. It
had a window that looked over the street and was effectively lit by a
streetlight on the far side. My room did not have a heating register and I
kept the door closed and the room cold in winter. When the storm windows were
put on the panes would frost over in the corners. I would press on the frost
and let the heat of my fingers draw lines or pictures.
Aug 15: Share a memory of staying overnight with a friend.
Jimmy Doran lived in an apartment over a store on Main Street. I used
to go there for sleepovers. The Doran’s had television before we did and I
would watch programs until the station went off the air on Saturday night…
probably ten o’clock I think.
Aug 16: If you ever ran away from home, tell about it.
I don’t think I ever ran away from home.
Aug 17: Do you remember being really curious about something?
think I was curious about everything. I loved snooping in garages, old houses,
burned buildings, walking through the forest, and walking through the swamps.
There was a dairy (Peshtigo Dairy, later Fairmont Dairy) near the
school and I loved to walk through the barns on my way. They had horse drawn
delivery wagons with glass windshields that had an opening for the reigns to
pass through. I would check them out and pat the horses. Then I would go by
the section where they would empty the butter churn and package one-pound
portions for the stores and homes. I used to go through so often I became a
“regular”… and then they told me I couldn’t keep going through their barn
Aug 18: Share your childhood experiences with roller skates.
We had metal skates that were attached to regular shoes with a strap
that held the back of the shoe to a heel plate on the back and a clasp the
tightened on the sole of the shoe with the use of a key. I was not very good
on skates and often I “came out of the skates” with knee skinning regularity.
Aug 19: Did you ever experience home sickness?
When My sister Jane was born I went to live with Aunt Laura and Uncle
John Scherer in Combined Locks. I missed being home very much but Uncle John
and Aunt Laura were lovely people and I liked doing all the “new” thinks they
had to offer.
Aug 20: Can you tell of your first tastes of pop or soda?
I loved root beer. The grocery store across the street had a Hiers Root
Beer barrel which dispensed the soda into frozen glass mugs. That was
fantastic on a hot, July day.
Aug 21: Share an early experience with shaving.
I was probably 13 and I received a Remington shaver for Christmas. And
some Williams Lectric Shave. I think I probably needed to shave once every
three days and that was just fuzz at the time but I did use the razor daily.
22: Tell about a favorite doll, teddy bear, or other stuffed toy.
I don’t recall a stuffed toy. I had a hand puppet dog that seemed to
fill that purpose.
Aug 23: Tell about another favorite toy.
One Christmas I received a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Projector.
The box cover served as a projector screen. The red projector held a disk of
small slides like a Viewmaster and when you turned on the light it would
project a picture on the screen (or a larger picture on the wall). I thought
that was very neat.
Aug 24: Did you have to abide by a curfew as a youth?
There were always regular times to go to bed. These varied with age. If we
were outside playing we had to come in early enough before that so we could
clean up and get to bed on time. By the time I was a senior I was
expected to be home by eleven o’clock unless prior arrangements had been made
for a special occasion.
Aug 25: Describe any "follow the leader" games you played.
We had a swamp and a ravine on the way home from school and some of us
used to play follow the leader as we walked that route. There were lo limbs to
climb under and over, water holes to jump or plow through, and steep paths to
climb. It was a great adventure for a kid.
Aug 26: Describe how you used the phone to call a friend.
We had a phone that an operator answered when you picked up the
handset. You told her the number you wanted and she placed the call. That was
replaced by a rotary dial phone that you could dial yourself. For a while you
still had to ask the operator to place a long distance call but soon that
became automatic too.
Aug 27: Did you ever have a fire in your home or accidentally catch something
I think I was the family pyromaniac. When I was at the stage where I
played with matches, I used to put a great wad of toilet paper in the toilet
and then light it. I would then flush the ashes down the drain. One time I
either put too much paper or was too late flushing the fire and the toilet
seat caught on fire and the paint blistered. I was later blistered too.
Aug 28: Tell about going to box socials or pot lucks.
Pot luck dinners were common when I was little. People had special
baskets or covers for hot dishes and would take their specialty to a church
social, family picnic or a neighborhood gathering.
Aug 29: Tell about an incident when you were very angry with your mom or dad.
I’m told I could throw a temper tantrum when I was little. Time has
softened those memories because I don’t recall any of them. I do laugh that
even much later in life Mother could push my buttons very effectively.
We were planning a visit to Madison, Wisconsin for Christmas when I was
alerted that the family wanted to hold an 80th birthday party for
mother in March. I said we could come for Christmas or in March and mother
said Christmas would be better so we made the holiday trip.
In March she asked if we were going to be able to attend the birthday
party with all the others and I said “No, we had said we could afford one of
the two trips and had chosen Christmas.” Mother waited a couple of days and
called to say, “If I paid for the trip could you come?” I was furious and
said, “I can pay my own way!”
It worked for her. We made two trips after all.
Aug 30: Tell about an incident when your mom or dad was very angry with you.
Mother was very mad at me when I melted the paint on the toilet seat.
Aug 31: Share a memory involving an outhouse.
When I was growing up all of my friends homes and our house had indoor
plumbing so we only saw outhouses at campsites or on a farm. I do remember
tipping an outhouse one Halloween. It was probably on the same farm where we
swiped green apples off the tree.