In case this is your first time reading my slices, here is my focus for the challenge: my fifth graders and I are participating in the Slice of Life Challenge this month, and they're writing memoirs. I thought I'd do the same kind of writing - memory writing - throughout the challenge. My new writing idea/goal is to write a younger intermediate book (this changed since I realized I didn't have an early chapter reader "voice") based around a character very much like me, so remembering my childhood stories is very important for that project. I'm going to be writing around photographs and memorabilia.
Mason Pool 1973 - I'm showing off a missing tooth in the picture on the right.
Besides my own house and acreage in the country, two of the places I loved to go when I was a kid was the old Mason pool and library. Our little public pool in the 1970s was tiny and simple and was the place to go swimming before the Countryside YMCA opened in 1980. I took many swim lessons there (I can clearly remember the big temperature sign by the bank reading 53 degrees on my way to swim lessons early in the morning - BRRRR!) and spent many hours just diving, jumping, eating, splashing, and hanging out. I loved to swim! I remember it being such a carefree activity. My mom would take me, and I would meet up with friends and stay all day there. I can remember one first day of summer when I was on the couch, leaning against my mom, feeling so sad because it was raining, and we couldn't go. She reassured me that we would be able to go the next day.
The other place I loved to go as a kid was our old library when it was at the barber shop. I wish I had a picture of it. It was tiny and smelled like old books. My friend, Lisa, also loved it, and she pointed out that we have more books in our homes now than there were in that old library. She remembers the librarians, Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Neiderman, and looked forward to seeing them every time she went. I'd go with my mom, and I'd stock up on my favorites - Nancy Drew, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Little House on the Prairie. Now they have a big, beautiful modern library in my hometown.
Mason Public Library today
Another place where I loved getting books was the bookmobile. I couldn't wait for it to pull up at Western Row Elementary School so I could climb aboard and check out the next Walter Farley Black Stallion book. I remember being so sad when I finished the series. It also had a musty smell of books and creaked when you walked back and forth.
I'm sure kids today will have fond memories of their big, modern places to swim and get books, but those simple, small spaces where being a kid meant lots of free time to swim and read were like heaven to me.