Category Archives: Memories

Green’s Point Rules

Green's Point Reminders
The actual rules that used to hang in the cabin

Before my grandparents moved to their cabin in Chetek, Wisconsin, they used it for a vacation home. My grandfather typed up a set of rules for when friends and family visited the cabin. I remember the rules hanging on the wall in the hallway that led from the garage door to the kitchen.

I know for a fact that my grandfather typed this on a big, black, heavy typewriter with round keys — I know that because I learned to type on that very same typewriter by copying poems from my grandfather’s books when I visited them many summers.

I found the framed rules when I was going through things at Mom’s house in February. Here’s the scan so you can read it more easily.

See below image for full text of the rules
A scan of the reminders

Green’s Point Reminders

We hope your stay will be a pleasant one, and that you catch such a big fish, and so many, that you won’t have to stretch the truth when you go home and tell about them.

Use whatever we have here, but think of the next ones who are going to use the cottage. If you eat it or drink it, replace it so there is at LEAST as much here when you leave as there was when you came.

If you break something, or it goes haywire while you are here, replace it or have it repaired. If there isn’t time to do either before you leave, report it so we can have it taken care of. Don’t take a chance on having someone drive 340 miles expecting to have everything in order, then have to have something repaired that was out of order when you were here.

Before you go: Defrost the refrigerator and leave the refrigerator door open, unless someone else will be up within a week or so.

Shut the gas off at the tank and hang the key with the others.

Pull the plugs on all appliances.

As an added precaution, pull the main fuse in the switch-box and put it where you found it, so if lighting should strike the line outside, it can’t go farther than the box. Disconnect the radio aerial and let it hang outside the cottage.

Bring the motor, oars and other fishing equipment, etc., and put them in the basement. Lock up the boat and put the keys where they belong. Clean up before you leave, especially garbage and refuse, so the next ones won’t have to wade through it. Don’t leave anything edible in the containers that field mice or other rodents can get into and be attracted, unless it is inside a cabinet or can they can’t get into.

It is going to take all of us to get the place the way we want it, so you see anything that needs doing give us a hand.

We believe the foregoing to be only fair to all concerned; and we hope the place will always be ready so we can unlock the door, turn on the lights, and start to enjoy the time we are able to spend here. We hope you have the best vacation ever.

Lois and Walt Green

Two Fishermen

“Hiyamac. Lobuddy Benearlong? Cuplours. Ketchaneny? Goddafeu. Kindrthey? Basanacarp. Ennysiztuem? Cupplapoinds. Hittinhard? Sordalite. Wahuoozin? Gobbawurms. Fishmonahboddom? Rydonnahboddum. Igoddago. Tubad. Seeyaround. Yatakidezy. Guluk.”

Happy 4th of July, you wonderful old First Federal Savings and Loan!

Apologies to Frances GoodrichAlbert Hackett, and Frank Capra. for the misuse of their words.

My first bank account was with Elgin’s First Federal Savings and Loan. Apparently, at the time, when you opened an account you were given a bank in the shape of the building. I found that bank, along with my passbooks a few years ago in the attic of my mom’s house in Elgin.

The bank is the color of old pennies — it may have been brighter copper colored when it was new. It is showing wear on one side, I think it is oxidation. White, not green, so I guess it is not copper.

I use the bank to hold foreign coins. I found a key that works (now that I look at it, it is the original key), so they are not forever stuck in it. I had the bank on my bookshelf in my office, but I want a less cluttered area so I am not positive what I am going to do with it.

The passbooks date from January 9, 1961 (I was 4) and is a joint account with my father. On January 10, 1961, a total of $31.06 was deposited into the account. The most money in the account was $2,364.74 on November 28, 1979. The account was closed on June 20, 1981, probably because I moved to Pittsburgh.

It seems I had another account with Elgin Federal Savings and Loan that I opened on March 8, 1976. Its highest amount was $538.11 on July 1, 1976. I closed this on November 23, 1976.

I vaguely remember going to the bank to deposit money and to withdraw money using these passbooks. I didn’t have a checkbook or credit card and ATM machines weren’t invented yet.

As for the passbooks — I will keep them in a box in the knee wall. Maybe the kids will find them interesting someday. If nothing else, the advertisements are interesting.

I like the way the style of homes are different from the passbook that was opened in 1961 and the one that was opened in 1976.

I guess $30,000 was a lot back then (1961)

 

No soap radio

My dad was a funny guy and had witty stories and jokes ready for any occasion. I don’t really remember too many of the stories and only remember one of his jokes. Maybe two.

The joke I definitely remember made no sense to me when I was a kid. When I grew up I figured it was funny to someone who was in the “know” about the “golden days of radio” because it sure made my dad laugh. It was not until this afternoon that I realized that my dad was not telling me a joke as much as pranking me.

“Momma Bear and Poppa Bear were taking a bath.

Momma Bear said, “Poppa Bear, pass me the soap, dear.”

Poppa Bear said, “No soap, radio.”

After telling the joke my dad would laugh and laugh and laugh. I’d say I didn’t get it. He’d say, “No soap, radio! No soap radio!” I’d tell him I still didn’t get it. I’d ask what it meant, but he could never seem to explain it to me and said, “never mind” when I bugged him about it.

I told other people the joke and no one else understood it either. How could my father laugh so heartily at a joke that no one understood?

When I grew up I’d think back to the joke and try to understand it. I finally came to the conclusion that it must have had something to do with the olden days and radio programs. That maybe the people that grew up listening to soap operas on the radio understood the joke and that since I hadn’t I’d never hope to understand the joke.

This afternoon I brought the joke up with Dean. He remembered me telling him about it years ago. I told him my theory and he suggested that I consult Professor Internet. I did and what I found out kind of made me sad.

It turns out that the “No soap radio” joke was a prank that may have started in the 1950s. A group of friends would be in on the joke, one person would tell it (or a variation of it) and all the friends would laugh. If the person being pranked laughed, the others would laugh and ask what was funny.

So when my father told it and I didn’t laugh but asked what it meant, how did that make him feel? Was he disappointed that I didn’t do what was expected? Would I have laughed if other people were also laughing? Should I be upset that he was trying to prank me? Does it really matter? Should I stop obsessing on this?

Dad at the Wonder Spot in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 1954

Old Writing: Part 12::What I’ll be Someday

This was written on October 4, 1966. Three years later I will write another paper about my future.

What I’ll be Someday

I want to be a nurse and I want to be a teacher too because I like school. If I were to babysit for my brother I might like it and on the other hand, I might not like it.

I can name a few of the things I want to be, like a nurse, teacher, nursery teacher, Sunday school teacher or an animal hospital nurse because I love animals.

I hope I get married and have a dog, cat and a few hamsters.

The teacher writes “what about children??” after the last sentence.

Old Writing: Part 11::My Parents

This was written November 1966. Probably 4th grade.

My Parents

I love my parents very much. I need them very much because if I did not have them I cold not tell them my troubles.

My dad is a mechanic. He is the only speedometer man in Elgin and my mom is a housewife. They both love me and I love me and I love them.

For my birthday once I got to go and see a movie called “Jack the Giant Killer” and then I got a kitten for my birthday. And I got a radio and alarm clock. But before my brother was born I got to do more things than now. I love my mom and dad. They spank me sometimes but I love them very much. They kiss me every day when I go to bed or when I get up in the morning or when I go somewhere and when I eat a good meal.

No comment on this one…

 

7-22-04: Three accounts of one day

Nearly thirteen years ago the kids and I set out on a drive to Illinois. Dean must have been on a business trip. For one reason or another, the kids and I each wrote our account of the day on Holiday Inn stationery. We really didn’t need to write down the part about the seatbelt — none of us will ever forget that.

My view:

7-22-04

Left home at 11:10 this morning. Had hoped to get an earlier start but no luck. The kids were fine. Great first few hours then they began watching LOTR-FOTR. Stopped in good old Breezewood for lunch and gas. Bought too much food.

Arrived at motel in Fremont, Ohio around 7:30. Checked in. Kids wanted to stay in the car.

When I got back Clare was doing something to Andrew’s back. I jokingly asked Clare what did she do to Andrew. Then I saw that he had the seatbelt all tangled up and round his belly. I helped him escape and was on the verge of calling 911 to get him out. He finally did a backward somersault and slipped free. Dinner was good.

Kids watching TV now.

Dona

Andrew’s view (he was 11)

7-22-04

We left a lot later than I wanted to but we had TV. Then we ate lunch at a fine place. Then I had to go to the bathroom really really bad. Then we went to a place we went last time. Then stuff happened. And then…I got stuck in my seatbelt and I got to do a somersault. It was weird.

Clare’s view (she was nearly 13)

Today was funny…Halloween woke me up. Awwwww. Mom was mad. Dad left blah blah blah. OK later, Andrew got stuck in the seatbelt. Umm, I have no clue how. He had to do a backward somersault. errr.. Dinner was odd… umm mom probably told you. A cute kid (adorable) waved. He was 2. Then a thunderstorm came. I went to our room and am watching TV now. The seatbelt disappeared in his tummy. GTG ~*Clare*~

Declutter 2017: Little Golden Records

For the past few decades I’ve been in the market for an affordable record player that was capable of playing 78s because I had a pile of Little Golden Records from my childhood that I wanted to hear again. I remembered playing some of these records over and over again and even wrote about them in a memoir essay for a college class. I felt sure that I was going to be suddenly transported back to that pink room on Mountain Street.

little golden recordsA few months ago I pulled out the records and looked at the titles. I figured I probably didn’t need to play them again because I assumed I could find them on the Internet. While I did find some, I could not find all of the recordings. But it didn’t matter because I realized that my memories of the records were somewhat false. For instance, I was sure that Walt Disney himself was singing “Bibbity Boppity Boop!” on one of the records but it turned out to be Mitch Miller and the Sandpipers.

Not long after I’d decided I should just toss the Little Golden Records in the trash, I found a great deal on a small portable record player capable of playing 78s. It was about the size of my childhood record player. I bought it and when it arrived I immediately plugged it in and played one of the records. No feeling of nostalgia. I tried another. Same thing. Nothing. Looking at the titles, I don’t think that any of these records will give me that warm, slightly bittersweet feeling of longing for the simpler days of being a kid that I was hoping for, expecting.

I sit here wondering why these circles of yellow plastic don’t bring back fond memories. Is it that I am so old that I’ve forgotten actually playing them? Is it because I don’t need to feel nostalgic about these songs? Is it because I’ve got lots of better memories than being 5 years old listening to records in my bedroom? I don’t know, and I think I should stop wasting my time on wondering.

These, warped and scratched up as they are and worthless, will go in the trash today. Also, they smell bad.

Here’s a video that someone with an unscratched record posted on YouTube. It’s the only record with a singer other than Mitch Miller and his orchestra plus the Sandpipers.

Old Writing: Part 7::What Do I Want to Be?

It seems like this was from a prompt. I wrote it in 1969 so that would have made me going on 13 years old. I was either in 5th or 6th grade.

Dona P. 23
4-21-69

What Do I Want to Be?

What do I want to be? Well, I’ll tell you. I want to be a Kindergarten teacher. I want to be a book writer also. I want to write because I like to read and the writers now don’t write enough books to keep me busy reading so I if am a book writer I can have a side job as a Kindergarten teacher or vice versa.

I want to be a kindergarten teacher because I adore small children. I would not like to be any other grade teacher except maybe first grade.

So there, I told you my secret. I’ll probably change my mind because I have in the past, many times. For instance, I used to want to be a surgical nurse. But don’t you think that’s too gory?

Tanner

Probably the best gift I ever gave anyone was the Christmas I gave my brother a puppy. He’d recently lost his dog, Franz, and somehow Dean and I found out about a litter of puppies that were being given away in Elgin. Dean and I picked out a female, brought it to my apartment for a few days, then presented it to Kevin on Christmas Day.

I think he liked her.

Dog with a bow
The best gift ever
Tanner biting Kevin's fingers
Sharp puppy teeth

Kevin named her Tanner and she grew up to be a wonderful companion. Unfortunately, however, she only lived about 18 months. Our next door neighbor misused weed killer near the fence that separated our properties and it eventually killed Tanner as well as his own dog.

Fountain at Cair Paravel by Jeremy

Many years ago I was friends with an art student. He’s an artist now. He and I shared a love of the Chronicles of Narnia so he painted a scene from Prince Caspian for me. I believe this is supposed to be part of the courtyard at Cair Paravel.

I am too lazy to find my copy of Prince Caspian to find the passage where this is described, but let’s just assume my memory is correct.

I tried to translate the runes, but either my translator is wrong or Jeremy tossed in some non-standard runes.