My childhood was a happy time. We, my 2 brothers and I, were raised on 1150 West in Cedar City, Utah. Our parents were loving and supportive, we didn’t lack for much of anything. That’s not to say we had a lot of money, we were comfortable and had a happy life.
Our street, still today, has big, full trees lining both sides of the street. Most of the neighbors who were there throughout our younger years are still there today. Our mom still lives in the home where we were raised. Our dad passed away almost 22 years ago at the young age of 64. Wow, all three of us are getting close to that.
Growing up on 1150 was quite an experience. All families were somewhere close in age, so there were friends close to our ages to play with. In fact right across the street was the White family. One daughter, Deb, was one year younger than me and we were good friends; she is now married to my cousin. Another White daughter, Barbara, was 3 years older and is now my sister-in-law. There were the Ence girls, the Esplins, Holmes, Sanders, Irons, and I was really lucky to have some very good friends in the Ott girls.
We used to play night games, Simon Says, Hide and Seek, I don’t remember playing kick the can. We would stay out way past dark, feeling and being totally safe. We had enough “mothers” on the street, that our real moms knew where we were all the time.
I was really a wimp, kind of a mama’s girl. I remember sleeping outside with some of the girls on the block. Sometimes we would sleep behind the White house, where there was a big open field. Sometimes we would sleep in the Ence trailer. It didn’t matter where I “planned” to spend the night, I always ended up in my own bed, safe and secure. I would lay awake after everyone else was sleeping and either see big bad things in the field or the trees scraping on the trailer were going to tip us right over. Mom and dad learned to just leave the front door open because I would be home to sleep. Good friends, I don’t remember them ever being mean to me because I was such a baby.
The big field behind the White house is now part in Interstate 15 and a trailer park. My brothers used to build huts in the field, along the ditch bank, using willows. I remember playing in the fields but not actually digging a hut, just using the willows for our shelter. When we were teenagers we went from making huts in the fields to “snipe hunting”. We would take any newcomer to the area out into the field with a paper bag and have them watch for the nearly invisible “snipe”. Now we know they never really existed – or did they?????
Up the street, on the corner, was my very bestest friend, Diane. We hung out together from around the 5th grade clear through high school. We used to play dolls, imagine that, 2 young girls playing dolls. We always had boy friends – another imagine that – and she ALWAYS picked Elvis to be her boyfriend and I was always STUCK with Ricky Nelson. What a bummer. We had “Kitten” dolls, little baby dolls with soft bodies and I remember being mad at her for wetting and curling the hair of my doll and making it all kinky and yucky. Never was the same.
She really was my best friend. We had so many great times together. There were some pretty stupid times as well. I remember when we were in junior high and I was “pumping” her on the handle bars of my bike. She was kind of freaked because I was going fast, she kept asking me to slow down. Being the obnoxious teenager that I was, I just went faster. Finally she realized what I was doing and ask me to go faster, at which point – you guessed it – I slammed on the breaks sending her off the handle bars and onto the roadway, right in front of my bike. Things happened so fast, the next thing I knew I felt a “bump, bump” and realized that I had run right over her. Still cracks me up – nasty aren’t I? Anyway, she survived with just a little road rash, and she still spoke to me. We used to go swimming every day (to see my boyfriend) and her banged up knees kept her away for a while. What a brat I was! She is still a very good friend. We don't see each other much at all. She's in California, I think good thoughts, but don't dial like I should.
There are so many great memories from my childhood. Amazing parents, brothers that I truly love, respect and look up to, especially today. The feeling of love that abounded in our home was the best ever.