Were They Once Beloved Toys?

Yesterday, when I found these toys in the rubble of the house foundation that was recently unearthed in the Greenbelt, I got teary. Who were the children who had lost these toys? Had they cried when they realized they were missing? Were they once beloved toys?

Then I became puzzled. When I moved into this neighborhood in 1973, I had been told that there once had been a house in the lot behind mine; one that had burned in the 50’s. Even though this foundation is not directly behind my house, I have assumed it is the house that I was once told about. These toys had not burned, so had the house not burned either? If not, what had destroyed it?

The foundation has probably been covered by blackberry vines since sometime in the 60’s. Did the toys show up on the lot after that time? Had they been thrown over the embankment by inhabitants of the home above it? No one on this neighborhood even knew the house existed, so I will probably never know the answers to these questions.

I brought the stuffed animals and doll into my house and cleaned them to the best of my ability. The transformation was remarkable!

Tomorrow, we will be holding another work party in the Greenbelt. Twenty students from an Environmental Science class at the University of Washington have signed up to participate. I wonder what we will find as we continue our endeavor to return this piece of land to the beautiful forest it once was.



Reminiscing: Mid 50’s to Early 60’s

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

My father was in the Army when I was born; therefore, I lived on Army bases most of my childhood. One of the things I remember about that life is that on Saturday mornings the base theater showed children’s movies. While I remember seeing cartoons, westerns and other types of films, the ones I remember the best were the science fiction thrillers.

I doubt that those movies were shown during the Saturday morning time slots. My friend Vince, who also grew up in the Army, said he thought Friday night at the base theater was known as “Fright Night” and that the scary movies were shown then.

I decided to look for the trailers of my favorite science fiction movies from that time. As I watched the trailers, I marveled at how times have changed. I wonder how many children would be allowed to see this type of movie today since I doubt any of them would receive a G rating! But in those days the theater was full of children and teenagers. And we loved being scared. (During this time frame I would have been 8-15 years of age.)







There were two movies I couldn’t find.  One was about a person who grew bigger and bigger and bigger.  As I recall the man (or was it a woman) was eventually housed in a gigantic circus tent but outgrew even that. The only snippet I remember from the other movie was that objects of some kind were found scattered on a beach.  I think they were shaped like round rocks. Whenever someone picked up one of the objects and held it near their face, it marked them.  I think it was a circular mark of some kind; could have even been a burn.  Do any of you remember either of those films?

I have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. If you lived during that time, did you see these movies?  Did you enjoy them? If you are from a different generation, did you ever watch them?


Physical Education in the 1960’s

In 1961, President Kennedy declared physical fitness to be a national priority. He urged all schools to create fitness programs. This was one of the advertisements for the program.

Is this the shape

The schools took immediate action.  In honor of President Kennedy’s challenge, the high school age students from the army base I lived in at the time walked en masse to their school in Las Cruces, 45 miles away.  The younger kids went to school on the base, so we did not participate in that walk; but I remember feeling so excited about it. Our president wanted us to be healthy and he was showing us the way!

When I watched this video two years ago, I was struck by how thin we were during those years.

As I was putting together this post, a friend told me about a video of a boys high school physical education class in the 60’s.

I wonder what school physical education programs look like in 2016.


Written for Challenge for Growth Prompt #12: Honoring My Body


Memories of the 60’s

My friend Kathie from chosenperspectives published a YouTube video today that really moved me.  I thought I would share it with you.

(If the video doesn’t come up you can find it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-0NvkuPHZI)

I felt some sadness as I listened to the song, because these last eight years have shown how much work we still have to do in regards to racial relations.  At the same time, I know the words are as true now as they were when it was recorded.

In another post published today, Kathie also shared personal memories of what she was doing during the Civil Rights period and on the day that Martin Luther King was assassinated.  Check out her post at In Honor of Dr. King.  I think you will be glad you did.