in this crazy upside-down world of ours, I find myself spending more time recalling the past, as a kid in a simpler Chicago. Neighborhoods were safe and we didn’t lock our doors. Maybe not all of you are as old as I am but bear with me while I remember my Chicago in the 1950s.
The picture above is of Kindergarten September 1949, Daniel Boone School on the far northside of Chicago. I am the kid behind the birdcage, already having to wear glasses.
Growing up was carefree as we rode our bikes through burning leaves at the curb and stayed out til the streetlights came on. How I remember the unmistakable smell of those smoldering leaves.
We had water balloon fights on hot summer days and played ball in the alley. Third base was Mrs. Erickson’s garbage can.
Well before our softball game or water fights, the milkman would come down the alley in his tiny white truck. The strawberry man would come down the alley selling lugs of fresh strawberries. The scrap man would come down the alley loudly calling out “rags and old iron”. I always thought he said “ragsolion” but what did I know? I was just a kid. Without apology, this was simply my Chicago as I was growing up.
We captured butterflies, grasshoppers and lightning bugs, we climbed trees, built a fort on an empty lot. We ran through the lawn sprinklers. We traded baseball cards and had a cherry Coke at the soda fountain. We drank Kool-Aid or set up a lemonade stand on a street corner.
please understand that I’m seeing our city from a Northside perspective not intending to slight the South side. Your mileage may vary but please read on and enjoy. It gets better.Continue reading “Growing up in Chicago in the 1950’s”