I wrote this in the late 1970s after a trip to Yorkshire and Lancashire, England.

I clipped a lock of my own hair and tied it carefully
Took it with me on a journey far across the sea
While I paused in Downham, unnoticed and unseen
I tossed the lock of my own hair across the village green.

Many years will pass away their summers, snows and rains
And though I'm far from Downham, part of me remains
Resting on the village green my lock of hair still lies
Between the Inn and churchyard, under English skies.

© By Frannie (Frannie516@comcast.net)


Was out in the storage room looking for something the other week; gosh can’t rightly say what I was after when I took down a dusty old box that had a football sticking out of it. “Hmm,” I said as the old football, now dry rotting and flat I spied. That was the football she brought me from when she was attending Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. Eddie LeBaron had autographed it to me, “To Buck, a sister’s best brother, regards Capt. E. LeBaron. I rummaged in the box and then I took it out. My old First baseman’s mitt, I remember it all now as I sat down putting the glove on and wondering how many baseballs and softballs it had caught in the last 57 or 58 years.

When I went out for baseball I had a Dick Wakefield glove, it was so large but it was a pitcher’s glove and not for playing the infield. I began to play first base and borrowed a mitt to use. I was left handed but the mitt was for a right hander. I remember I got a check for writing forest fires and saved up some money from loading pulp wood. Forty five cents an hour fighting forest fires and seventy five cents an hour for loading pulp wood. I went to Bedford, hitchhiked of course and went to Buzzy Goode’s shoe shop which carried sporting goods. I put that mitt on and knew it was for me, but it was four dollars more than I had; but Buzzy knowing me and my family told me to take it and send him the money next week.

Well, that glove was a savior for gosh I did not have as much trouble picking up ground balls and when I stretched for a low throw there was no question I caught it. I used the glove all during high school and in the summer leagues in which I played. Heck my senior year our baseball team went undefeated, a first for Montvale High. Shucks Bob Humphreys went on to pitch and play in the Major Leagues; later becoming a coach and manager. He even has a World Series Ring when they won it all.

After Boot camp I took my mitt with me and since we could only play Softball I let out the pocket and for twenty some years used that old mitt for Softball.

Lordy, lordy if that old mitt could tell stories I bet they would be some good ones, but I oiled it up and put that and the football back in the box and the box back on the shelf.

© By Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)


The smell of a new box of Crayola crayons is one of the best things I have stored in my memory.
The first box of crayons you get is usually the most basic one.
Eight colors is a good way to get started. Why it's almost always the purple one that you use to write on the wallpaper with is being investigated by government scientists.
So far the only conclusion they have reached is that purple is the one color that clashes with every thing else...even shades of purple.
See green can be excused as plant material, red may be from a raw hamburger, blue from blueberry ice cream, black might be shoe polish, white and yellow don't stand out enough. Orange is the second most popular to be used on walls. (Even an real orange won't leave those marks.)

A box of eight crayons doesn't last very long. They break or roll under the couch or get stuck to Dad's shoe. Eventually, you have a shoe box filled with pieces of crayons. 42 pieces of green and possibly 26 1/2 inch pieces of red. Even Salvador Dali would have protested!

I do remember getting a box of TWENTY-FOUR crayons! I think it was an Easter present or possibly Chanukha...don't ask for an explanation. We were a very diverse family. I had many coloring books but I doubt that I ever finished one. I always felt that the pictures were someone else's idea and I wanted extra wings on the butterfly.

Then I got a HUGE pile of newsprint to do my own renditions on!
That was heaven for me...I could do my own pictures of whatever I wanted. I did one that my Mom puzzled over.

It appeared to be a flock of flamingos on the front yard of a house that looked like ours. Mind you I didn't have any idea of what a flamingo was or that New Jersey wasn't it's natural habitat. I don't even know what I called it except for "Pink Bird". Dad told me all about flamingos and how they made their home in places like Florida. It took about 50 years for me to go to Florida and see that "Pink Bird" I drew a portrait of when I was eight years old.
Nowadays, I go to the store to buy toilet paper or whatever and I always go down the aisle where they keep the crayons.

When no one is looking I pick up the biggest box and ....
The older I get the more my 'Inner Child' comes out to play.

© By Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)



My heart was left in Yorkshire's dales
One misty April day,
Midst daffodils and rain-swept hills
Within walls cold and gray.

Time does not dull the longing
To fly to Britain's shores
My soul still thrills to sheep-strewn hills
And Yorkshire's lonely moors.

"Return again, back home again"
My heart calls out to me
From miles away in Yorkshire's dales
Across the silver sea.

© By Frannie (Frannie516@comcast.net)


That New Pencil Smell

The first few days of a new school term were always greeted with the wonder of all those splendid new smells. The smell of new oxfords, the smell of new crayons, the smell of burning leaves, and the smell of those brand new pencils. I remember when the local Coca Cola bottling company would come to our school and hand out new red and white Coca Cola pencils to all the children. The first thing we did was to smell the wonderful odor that these new pencils emitted. Now, mind you, in those days it didn't take much to excite grade school children. A new pencil was cause for youthful glee. But then, there were other great new things. For recess there were small red rubber balls to bounce off the ledges of the school building, jump ropes with clickers in the handles, paddles with elastic bands at the end of which was attached a small ball for hitting as fast as you could manage and brightly lacquered yo-yos with fake diamonds in them (if you couldn't afford a fancy one, a simple red and black wooden one would suffice, but it often stuck and didn't work as well). While we are on the subject of recess, who could resist the wonderful games of Red Rover, Red Rover or Dodge Ball? It was on one of these occasions that I fell and skinned my knee on the rough concrete that covered part of our play area. A trip to the girls restroom set everything straight. There was always an attendant on the play ground, usually one of the teachers with the big brass bell that she rang for several different reasons. Once inside the restroom, there was a lady attendant who was kind and very adapt at handling almost any situation from throwing up to skinned knees. She would wash the knee with green soap and a brown paper towel, pat it dry with another and administer a band aid. There you are, good as new again.

Our school had an old part that was closed off from the rest of the school. There had been a fire there, way before my time. It was very cool in there, as there was no heat. In the fall, the school was given apples for the children. They were place in the old part of the building in wooden bushel baskets and given to the children at intervals throughout the beginning of the school year. They were so good; much better than any apple from home. Also, in like manner, were the pears given out. Except, they were wrapped in beautiful green tissue paper. Wow, we could hardly wait to get those pears. They were juicy and savored as if they were the best candy. Did I mention candy? There was a store just across the school yard which had lots of delicious candy. They knew we were coming, so they had these big fancy round balls of candy on sticks. What made them fancy was that they were striped in the colors of the local high schools. Now what child wouldn't want one of those? However, one of my favorites was Turkish Taffy (you could get vanilla or chocolate). The trip to the store was only occasional, as nickels didn't grow on trees you know.

The walk to school four times a day (we went home for lunch) was fraught with difficulties because of the weather. In the winter, it was so cold you thought you would never get the six blocks walked without freezing to death, or the rain so bad that it leaked through your rain coat between the snaps, buttons, buckles or whatever held the thing together down the front. An umbrella was of little use in the wind, but we tried anyway. The silly thing often turned inside out leaving us drenched. The boots were another frustration. Your shoes always got stuck in the bottom and had to be pulled out in a tug of war. The wet mittens on the school radiators certainly gave off a different sort of smell to the air of an already stuffy school room, half of which was hot while the other half was cold. The windows on the radiator side often had to be opened at the top with a large pole fitted with a special hook on the end designed expressly for that purpose. Most of the school year I kept a cold or bronchitis, but that is a story for another time. Do you remember the boxes with the screens on the top for cleaning erasers? Or, perhaps you took them outside and just clapped them together sending chalk dust into the air in big white clouds. In either case, it was a privilege (or so we thought) to get assigned to this chore.

Milk break was another big event of the day. Those small half pint glass bottles, with the little paper stoppers and caps were a most welcome sight. We saved the caps and stoppers and made things with them. We had good imaginations. Along with this milk, you were given two soda crackers. Did you ever try to break those crackers on the little dotted lines as a youngster and meet with the ridicule of your classmates if you broke theirs unevenly? It was enough to scar you for life, not really. A great way to learn to make change was "stamp day," That was the day that the school sold defense stamps. Anyone remember those? One cigar box held the defense stamps and another was reserved for change. This made up the process for the student to sell the stamps. Students brought their money to school on stamp day, purchased their stamps and pasted them into books. Milk money and stamp money were often taken to school by the girls in handkerchiefs. The money was tied in a knot in one of the handkerchief corners. The small, white hankies often sported embroidered flowers, dogs, etc. on them. Seldom were they used for the nose, unless it was bleeding.

The fire escape was a once a year big thrill. We all got to slide down this big enclosed tubular slide which had several turns that went all the way to the play ground from the top floor. Another thing that I thought to be grand as a child was the telephone in the school front hall which set on a table all by itself. It was a "Captain Kangaroo" style phone, if you've ever watched the Captain. I think they may be called "Candlestick phones." My teachers were really quaint by today's standards. I recall one in particular that had a silver bell on her desk that she used to pound when the room was too noisy, another had a lapel pen with a retractable writing instrument that pulled out on a chain, while the only male teacher in the school sported plaid sport coats and bow ties every day.

The "dumb waiter" in each room for transporting books to and from the library was an invitation for boys to throw things in, like spit wads or ink bottles. The ink bottles were housed in small holes at the top of each wooden desk. They contained ink that was poured in by the teacher from a larger bottle housed in the supply closet. We had pens with metal nibs for dipping in the ink and writing our letters on lined paper. One day, which was not a good one for me, I spilled a whole bottle of ink on my wool plaid jumper. My Mother was able to get most of it out by soaking the spot with milk. I still don't understand how milk took out an ink stain from wool, but it did.

The library, in the basement, was one of my favorite places in the school. In the summer you could use the outside basement stairs for taking out summer reading, but in the winter you used the stairs inside the two story building. The librarian was always a very nice person who helped you with your selections and stamped your library card. I loved to read Lois Lenski books, two of which I still remember as "Cotton In My Sack" and "Strawberry Girl". Also, another book I still remember is "Friday, The Arapaho Indian." The books had a nice musty smell, and the limit was ten. Often, in the summer, my girl friend and I would carry home ten each and read every one. I loved to give book reports because I enjoyed sharing the stories with my class mates. I guess I still enjoy sharing stories, don't I?

The elementary building was old when I attended, and now it is completely gone like so many other things from our childhood years. So long Albert Lange. You held a lot of memories for the students that passed through your halls, and if I listen very closely, I can still hear that final 3:15 P.M. bell.

I wrote this a few years back, but thought I would share it again after I read about Swampetta's crayons, which I also love.

© By Phyllis Ann(Starbird55@comcast.net)


My “thing” is 50 years old. It was installed about this time in 1958, our little family having moved into this house on a stormy, tornado-predicted day. As my husband and I watched the roaring rain, I looked off to the west and imagined my two little boys then with my parents. We had a brick home - our little frame a thing of the past, with its shivering timbers and howling sounds on this sort of day.

The rain over, we drove about 22 miles round trip and brought our little boys to our new home. I boiled some wieners on our gas stove and we ate hot dogs, sitting on boxes in a kitchen without furniture. (That came a few days later).

But I digress. My “thing” was a new pipe type clothes line, imbedded in concrete, and still bearing the same wire lines to this day. Gone long are the old clothes pins with rusty springs and the hanging clothes line bag that slid as the clothes were being hung. Diapers turned into slabs in the early frozen mornings, and would dry by evaporation in the later day. The clean, clear feel of the frozen air, cold wind through the sunlit hair, and then there was the smell - that delicious fresh smell of clean clothes that can never be caught in a spray can. You may buy White Rain, Morning Dew, or Fresh Cotton, but you cannot duplicate that wonderful scent. Summer mornings, winter mornings, hanging clothes on that old clothes line was therapy free of cost, free of babble. When a terry towel was soft and fresh cotton sheets enfolded you with no need for a dryer tissue.

Of course, realism demands appreciation of the dryer unbounded by inclement weather. My clothesline, though, will never come down at my hand. Sometimes I shock my neighbors by throwing an old rug over it, just to keep the neighborhood humble.

And someday I’ll write about ironing - the smell of the steam on outdoor dried clothes----- but that’s for another challenge.

© By Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal.net)




Slideshow by Matt

My Little Rose

Pearls of His Past

Friends Forever



The White Tag

A Mind Is Like An Empty House

Lara's Den has free E-cards.
I make them and offer them to our visitors and authors.
Click the button to access the index.

New at Lara's Den. Click the Thumbnail.

And.......for many others, click the index image.

Graphics by Marilyn