Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just Kid Stuff

Somehow, someway today, I am taken back to my days as a little-bitty boy, maybe aged 7 or 8, remembering when my cousin Philip and I would spend a month during our summers free from school together, at our spinster great-aunt Beulah's house.

Phillip was older than me by 6 years, being born in 1963. Neither one of us had brothers or sisters to play with, so in the summers, it was each other that we looked forward to.
And in those 1970s, our big thing was to play either "Superman and the Flash" together, or to play "Rocky and Bullwinkle", in aunt Boobies' yard in Wister, Oklahoma. And since I was both smaller and faster than Phil, I got to be the Flash and be Rocky J. Squirrel. He was Superman and the Moose, Bullwinkle, being a taller, slower, and dumber kid than me. LOL!

We had such fun in those days!! We would run around the neighborhood, flying as fast as we could with our superhero capes billowing, only towels really, that Boobie had pinned around our necks, saving either Lois Lane or the Earth, whatever; or we would be foiling the evil plans of Boris Badinoff and Natasha in strange, weird places we never heard of, like "Canada", there in that (somehow) lost past.

We would play and play hard, all day long, from after our breakfasts 'til dark-thirty each night, when we had to come in for supper, baths and bed. We would consider ourselves Oh, so lucky if some night we might get to stay up late and watch an idiot TV show that our aunt liked, called "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman", or to shoot off fireworks with her, our sweet Aunt Boobie, who never had any kids of her own, but made up for it by loving the two of us so much. Aunt Boobie used to go to Oklahoma City each fall, and while she was there, she would buy Halloween costumes for me and Phil, better ones than anyone else around here had, too! Ones with real masks!!

Ever hear of a "Tulip tree"? Well, our aunt had one, a huge Tulip tree in her yard. And in the summertime, it would bloom out, and be just covered in real tulip flowers, all over this tree!!
I've never seen another one anywhere, but in our aunt's yard, during our magical, youthful summers. One summer, Boobie had her brother, our grandad, hang a tire swing for us in that giant tree. Years later in my junior high science class, we were asked to make a leaf collection as a class project. I got an "A", because I knew where a Tulip tree leaf could be found!

Other times, Phillip and I would go exploring Boobie's storage house, way in the back of her back yard, past her storm cellar but on this side of the alley, past which you got to our other really, really, really old Aunt Mary's house. Boobie had neat stuff stored in there: An old butter churn, a horse collar, coffee cans full of rusty, mysterious nails and screws, an old plow, even an old telephone operators' switchboard; things which Phillip and I would study carefully, and make believe with, playing like these things were treasures we'd discovered in a tomb or in a sunken ship, never knowing that each item was just that: More precious than gold itself, for each was the stuff that fond, pristine, magical childhood memories are made of.


Renée Gandy said...

I happened upon your blog my accident , stopped to read when I saw your pic as you very much look like an old friend of mine.I really enjoyed reading about your childhood memories..we had a tulip tree outside our house in the 60's in was beautiful when it bloomed. Sounds like you had a great Aunt..Renée

The Local Malcontent said...

Thanks Renee, for taking the time to comment too.

Come back whenever you can~!