BY DEBBIE BROWN
INSIDE LINCOLN CORRESPONDENT
t doesn't matter how old onegets. I think we all look at theend of the school year withmemories from our childhood.I remember being about 7- years-old, and just as school was ready to let out for thesummer, I asked my parents if they had the summer off likekids did. This is especially fun-ny to me now, because for thefirst 10 years of my life, my dad was a wedding photographer.Being a self employed photog-rapher myself, I can assure youthat having the summer off isnot even remotely a possibility ... ah, the innocence of chil-dren.Thinking about the lazy sum-mer days of childhood, whereour imaginations dictated theactivities of the day, I began to wonder if kids of today aremuch different than the gener-ations before them.I remember catching polly- wogs with my brother, going toour neighbor's house as they performed plays for the neigh-borhood families, playing out-side for hours on end (some-times so that my mom's freshly waxed kitchen floor could dry),and riding my bike to get anIcee, while trying to out pedal whatever dog tried to chase medown that day.Speaking with kids fromabout age 8 to high-school age,I asked the question, “What are you looking forward to doing this summer?”The overwhelming response was, “We’re going to hang out with our friends and play videogames.” I also heard, “Yeah,there’s nothing to do aroundhere except play video games.” With many of the kids, I alsoinquired if any of them weregoing to do anything to earnmoney. A few said they weregoing to babysit or do chores toearn extra cash. I know that notall of the 21st century kids aregoing to situate themselves infront of their televisions andgame consoles from Junethrough August, but of all thekids I spoke with, many of them were looking forward to activi-ties that involved current tech-nology. Asking fellow Rotarians abouttheir summer activities was like walking through the streets of Mayberry.Ninety-three-year-old Tony "Stix" Bellacera recalled sovividly his childhood summers.To earn extra money, he wouldgo to the local pretzel factory,purchase a dozen pretzels for 1cent each and resell them twofor 5 cents ... what an entrepre-neur!He spoke with some wonder when he boasted about seeing Jackie Robinson play at EbbetsField years later.Elizabeth Jansen and MayerStan Nader both told of their youthful summers spent in Lin-coln. Whether it was putting aninner-tube into Auburn Ravineand drifting down to the ceme-tery or riding their bikes to theclay pits, they always knew it was time to go home when the5 o’clock whistle blew atGladding, McBean.Jansen seemed to especially enjoy telling of the days whenthe grain was delivered to thesilos. Kids would flatten outcardboard boxes, walk up to thetop of the grain piles that couldbe as much as two stories highand glide down their newly delivered, albeit temporary,slide.The good old days, just likebeauty, is in the eye of thebeholder. Although older generationsmay not think that the child-hoods of today’s youth cancompare to what they experi-enced, there is no rulebook forhow to spend your summerbreak.Memories are created by doing activities we enjoy (andmaybe a little youthful mis-chief). Whether your fifth-grade bestfriend is still in your life, in whatever generation we're apart of, we can close our eyes,feel the warm summer sun onour backs and take a stroll downmemory lane.
INSIDE LINCOLN • JUNE 2013
What hasn’t changed over the generations is our fascinationwith baseball. Just as kids once idolized the baseball heroes ofthe ’40s and ’50s, today's youth watch their favorite teamsmake memories that can be told for generations to come.It's not clearhow muchmoney CarsonMeachim madeselling mudpies but get-ting dirty andhaving fun waswhat it was allabout. Some-times, the sim-plest activitiesin life are themost fun ...winter, spring,summer or fall.
PHOTOS BY DEBBIEBROWN • INSIDELINCOLN
Remembering the good old days – then and now