Ancestors, Legends & Time

Remember and make some summertime memories

Jeanne Newby

Okay, the first day of summer has arrived. We have many memories of things we used to do in the summertime. So, we need a checklist to make sure you are accomplishing those favorite summertime activities.

Have you been swimming in the creek, river, pond, lake or pool? Have you enjoyed the sounds of summer, yet? Have you heard a screen door slam? Have you heard the buzzing of a June bug tied to a string? Have you heard the giggles of little ones running through the lawn sprinkler? Have you fed the ducks or geese?

Have you had a tall glass of lemonade while sitting on a porch swing? Or how about eating a cold slice of watermelon and spitting the seeds as far as you can? And don’t forget a tub of homemade ice cream. That is always a fun time!

Have you hung your bed sheets out on the clothesline and then climbed into bed with the fresh air smell? Don’t have a clothesline? Borrow from a neighbor! Have you thrown some horseshoes? Have you been on a carnival ride?

With the hot temperatures of the past week, did you slip into a theater to watch a movie and keep cool? Have you gone walking and spoken to a neighbor in the yard? If you haven’t accomplished all the fun summertime things on the list, make an effort and enjoy a piece of your past.

I like to share one of Kenneth Kneeland’s memories regarding summer every once in a while. He said he liked to spend his summers building tree houses, digging underground rooms and playing football (no matter what season). It sounds like Kenneth was an active fellow. He took on big summer projects. Kenneth also shared a memory of his school days. He said he started school at the old Eugene Field School in 1920. Do you remember the old Eugene Field School that was located on the northwest corner of Fourth and Oronogo streets. He said the school was up on a hill, and they would look south from Fourth Street and all the land to the south was mostly pasture land – an open playground for all the neighborhoods boys.

Another reader shared that his memories of summertime involved lots of mosquitoes, thousands of lightening bugs and playing hide’n go seek till it was time to go in for the night. He also recalled the fun of jumping up and down outside stairs, listening to the radio and laughing so hard your stomach hurt.

What a fun time to walk to the neighborhood store and get an ice cold bottle of soda pop that had been sitting in ice in the Coke cooler. Soda pop was a special treat because nobody kept supplies of soda pop at their house. Or maybe you got a Popsicle to cool you down.

Many summertime memories revolve around locations no longer available except in the minds of small children now residing in older bodies. In such a mind, you can still climb trees, jump off chat piles or ride your bike real fast. 

So sit back and plan your list of what you want to do this summer. Share the memories with those around you!

Jeanne’s new book, “The Zinc City, Webb City, Missouri” is now available at Webb City Chamber office and other local retailers, such at Maggie Jane’s Gifts, at 8 S. Main St.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.

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