Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Memories—Hometown

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been doing circle journals with a group of women from our scrapbook retreats. Each of us brought a themed journal/scrapbook to the November 2008 retreat where it would be passed around for the other women to contribute to. My circle journal theme this year was Favorite Quotes. Because there are twelve women in our group, each month a different woman adds her favorite pictures and quotes to my journal while I’m adding to another’s. This Thursday evening during our 2009 scrapbook retreat we’ll return the books to their rightful owners. I’m very excited to see the quotes and pictures that friends have added to my book (and will show you next week). I'm also eager to watch their reactions as they look through their own books.

I need to finish an entry in Megan’s circle journal before Thursday. The theme of her book is Hometown. Because “finish Megan’s journal” and “write a blog” are both items on today's list, today’s Monday Memory kills two birds with one stone.

Hometown: Hollister, Idaho
Year: 1960’s
Population: 87
Elevation: 4,524 ft.
Stores: Dude’s and Monte’s
School: Hollister Elementary School


As with most small rural towns, our school events doubled as community events. The three big occasions were the Christmas Play, Chili Supper/Carnival, and Track Meet.

(socks missing elastic . . . they're still a bane)

The Christmas Play: The play was typed on an manual typewriter and then mimeographed onto rough, colored paper. The 6th grade children who played the lead roles were given a full copy to memorize their lines. The other students were the supporting cast, like snowflakes, and sang a class song for their part.

I remember one perfect Christmas Play evening, I not only got to ride to the play in the front seat of our station wagon, it was also snowing big flakes as we drove to the school Snow, front seat, happy people, songs, Christmas Play, anticipation. Life didn’t get much better.

After the Christmas Play, Santa Claus climbed up the fire escape and entered the auditorium to hand brown paper bags filled with peanuts, an orange and some hard candy to the children. Parents stayed around and visited a long time after the play so we could play in the halls and . . . even go down the boys’ steps.

The day after the Christmas play was always our class party where everyone gave their exchange gift to the classmate whose name they’d drawn. We also gave our teacher a gift that day. I always gave the same thing--homemade caramels in a tin or fancy glass dish.

Chili Supper/Carnival: This big event happened in January after the dull-season arrived. Pots and pots of homemade chili filled the school lunchroom, but instead of the lunch lady serving it, our moms took a shift to serve. Homemade pies were for dessert.

A man in our community made the carnival games. His imagination knew no end. He spent all year thinking of new games for the next year. Though one of his most archaic games, my favorite was the marble roll. All we had to do was roll the big boulders up the inclined wood and get them stuck in the holes he’d carved at the top of the board. The first person to fill all three holes won a prize. That was it. The yellow marbles were the luckiest.

One of the biggest kid attractions at the carnival was the borrowed trampoline—an old rectangular, basket-weaved-top kind. For a ticket you could jump for two and a half minutes. There was also bingo. That’s where all the older people of the community spent the night. Prizes were things our parents had donated. They didn’t have to be new, but they did have to be in nice shape. Bingo cost a quarter. There were homemade cakes for the cake walk.

Track Meet: The last full day of school was the track meet. Parents volunteered to spray paint the race lines on the black top in front of the school a few days before so we could practice. They also filled the high jump pit with fresh straw and brought a new load of sand in for the long jump pit. All morning we competed in events and then finished the event with a potluck dinner. Mothers brought fried chicken, pots of spaghetti, potato, macaroni and jello salads and cupcakes. The PTA provided little ice cream cups with wooden-paddle spoons from the funds they’d earned at the chili supper and carnival.

Our town and school had their warts, but the feeling of community at these events helped us overlook them and gave everyone a bit of stability in an unstable world.


Julie said...

You were an adorable snowflake!

Danielle said...

You did such a good job describing everything that it really took me back!

Kathy said...

The joy of a small town is that you know the people and all the flaws and you love them any way. You really learn you to get along. City life is different, because friends come and go. I like both! What a cute little sixth greater.

Becky said...

What a darling photo of you and so many fun memories! Every time you mention your circle journals I think about how much I want to do one...I'm looking forward to seeing yours next week.

Deanna said...

It is so wonderful to be able to look back and remember...sometimes a smell of a certain candy or a crayola crayon will instantly jumpstart my memory. Thank you for was "fun".

Jill said...

I'm excited to see your completed circle journal and to know what quotes ended up in there!

I don't really have a hometown. My family moved so much that it wasn't until high school that we stayed in one place for 4 years in a row. I guess I can claim Grand Rapids, Michigan as my hometown.

Marcia said...

I have a great idea. I now know how to do my journal for Haley. I will cut and paste all your memories that are my memories into a book. Wahlah!!! You write them all and they are EXACTLY the way I remember them. Yippee!!!

michelle said...

I love your memories! How do you do it, Jane?

You were the cutest little snowflake. Your old photos are so great.

I don't really have a hometown, either, we moved around too much. I always felt that as quite a loss.