The Old Country Road

Millet Hwy.   Michigan

When I went to live with my Mom at the age of 10, we lived in a placed called the Projects.  That's where your house is connected to your neighbors house and everyone knew everyone and their business. You had so many feet of yard and then you were in your neighbors yard.  No fence just boundaries.

Now the whole project section was fenced in but no gates or anything like that. We had an ice man that came, I guess about every 3 days with ice to go in top of our ice box.  I now realize why it was called an ice box. And the greatest highlight was really the ice cream truck with the bells ringing, it's really true, back then there was an ice cream man that drove a big white truck with all kinds of ice cream.  You could hear it no mater where you were.

It was there we got our first black and white TV.  It was round and it was great.  Can you imagine being 10 or 11 and seeing your first TV?

Now we went to Drive In movies on Saturday night, in our PJ's of course because it was always at night because we came home to bed.  That was so much fun, even though we were in our sleep wear, we got to go and swing and play on the big playground they had up front. Anyone that wanted to could even put out lawn chairs and sit there to watch the movie.

I remember Mom telling us we were going to move and get a real house with our own yard and it was out in the country.  I remember crying because of my friends but never did it enter my mind that I'd never see them again.  When we got there, we were told to go out and play while my Mom unpacked.  I had never seen so much land in all my life, fields and fields, no factories or sidewalks. Corn and wheat were planted everywhere and tractors running and the beautiful smell of dirt, gravel roads and one building that sat within rock throwing distance.  I had to run in and ask Mom what it was, she smiled and said, That's your school, now you never have to miss a day because the teacher will come and get you and then she chased me back outside.  I wasn't sure if I was really going to like that part or not.  We kids could scream and holler and run and play all we wanted without any neighbor saying a thing.

We had hay fields on 3 sides of us in that little house and the farmers let me ride on the tractor with them.  In that one room school there were about 20 kids from kindergarten to 7th grade.  My little brother Danny and I were the only ones old enough to go to school.  Other kids in the area were bused to school.  We came home to lunch everyday and as I can remember I never missed a day of school.

Once we got moved in and settled, Mom made us a great big batch of homemade fudge.  She didn't need a paper to read to know how to cook anything, she just knew what to use.  She stirred and stirred and then sat it on the back porch to cool a little, we knew it was hot so we never ever touched it. This began a tradition, every Friday evening.  Now my Mom was a stay at home Mom, we never remember her not being there.  She couldn't drive at that time and didn't want to. By the time she cleaned the house, took care of our cuts and bruise's her time was pretty well taken care of.

The first room was a huge room of our new home and Mom's bed was in it for her and my dad, a very small living room area with one big chair, off that was a kitchen just big enough for a table and stove and fridge and cabinet with flour bin. We had a small bedroom off the living room for us kids, there were 4 of us, 3 in one bed and me in a half bed, and Mom was expecting one.  The bath room had a curtain over the doorway and a small shower was in that dribbled water.  I can't remember where it went right now but I do know that we had a Christmas tree at Christmas.  Not a whole lot of toys but we had our tree and a small present for each of us. We had a small porch on back, that's where the fudge cooled.  But the outside world was so big and we got in our car every Sunday and had a picnic on the side of the road at one of the picnic tables and Mom let us run in the open fields as far as we could see.  We had sandwiches and chips and cookies and RC cola, it was all made right then and there on that old picnic table. Then we sat on a blanket and the smaller kids ran and played.  Now when I hear people say the good old days, theses are the days I remember as a child.