childhood tales IV


It was getting ready to be another great summer, and a break from school! Dad would register me at the Hunton Y for day camp. Hunton Y had arts and craft, pony rides, wrestling, archery, tumbling, factory tours,  baseball, and the POOL! On pool days, we would line up and walk two by two to the Jefferson Park Pool! The line wound include Mr. Edley in front, and Mr. Walker in back. Our volunteers included Melvin, Bip, Sterling and a lot more to keep us orderly and in line! First we would cross busy 12th St, and walk up Taylor St. We would then make a left and turn up 11th St. Then we would turn right on Floyd St, and continue over Park Ave. We would turn on 7th. and down to Pierce. Back then, Pierce intersected 5th St at the bridge where Harris Tire Co. is now. After crossing over the bridge, we turned right on Chambers St. We then went up the hill to 2nd. St. Coming up the hill I think I remember the Turner family would be on their porch  to push us on like we were in a parade! I think that they had a fire at their house in the 70's, I wonder what happened to them? Coming up the hill now, you see a vacant lot where they used to live. We would then turn on York St, then a straight shot to the Pool! The Jefferson Pool, you first had to go through the door for a head count. Next was the coldest shower in the kill germs....ok? You would then follow a winding ramp to the pool! after a refreshing few hours, we would dry off, leave your towels in the laundry room, and follow the same route back to the Y! I remember one summer the pool was not included in the agenda for day camp to everyones disappointment. It seems that a group tried to integrate the Miller park pool, so the city closed them all! I remember my Dad saying that not only did they close the pool, but they filled it in never to be used again! Here we go...."OH NO!" No more Pool! I cried! All us campers were really sad till the Y came up with an idea! They got permission to swim at the Lodge of the Fisherman, now Church of the Covenant in Boonsboro. They provided city busses to take us there....I remember singing the song "On top of spaghetti, I saw my poor meatball" something like that to and from the Y! We also toured the Bakery on Park Ave. I remember loaves of bread coming down the conveyor belt! We toured the shoe factory where the Boys & Girls Club is now! It was fun, and well worth the walk! Below is a shot of the Jefferson Park Pool!  

STORY # 17  "YOU HAVE A _______ IN YOUR ________!
I was always a "What if?" person! Sometimes it was good like..."What if we had a Soul station in Lynchburg?" Sometimes it was bad, like this time! Ok....heres what happened...It was near Christmas, and time to put up the decorations! They weren't as extravagant as they are now. With the LED technology, you can create beautiful, large displays! Most of us had lights that stayed on steady all the time, or you could put a blinker in the line for off,on,off,on, and that was it! Every year Dad would do down to the A&P downtown on 12th St, and buy a Christmas Tree. This set you back $3.00, and I always got to pick it out! The tree went in the living room in front of the picture window. The lights went along the eves on the front porch and went to the porch light that had an outlet. You could then control the lights by turning on the switch in the house. Last but not least, the reef was placed on the front door! We did the same thing every year, with the same lights, stored in the closet upstairs. This year was different....Dad bought a blinker, a small device that you plugged the lights into, then you plugged it in the outlet. You hit the switch....waited a few minutes.... lights off,on,off,on! Wow, cool! It was still daylight, and I couldn't wait till it got dark to cut on the lights! My sister and parents were in another part of the house and that left me alone with the lights! What if?........ What if I plugged the TV into the blinker?? I wanted to see what, tv-on, tv-off,! fate would have it right at that moment, there was a knock at the door? The guys! Lets go play on the basketball court at Payne School! I'm on my way! After a few hours playing ball....I thought nothing of seeing the Harry Haga tv repair truck at my house when I got home! I don't remember too much after the repair man said "Lady you have a blinker in your TV set!!" Here it comes..."OH NO!" I forgot to take the blinker out!" Dad and I did that dance....round and round...holding one on my hands....belt whailing in the other....round and round we went! The repair bill came out of my allowance....!! I found out that the blinker could have burned out our RCA tv set if it had stayed in the circuit a little longer! 


There was a lot I knew about the Civil Rights Movement, and issues in my childhood that I didn't know about! My little world ran about the Pierce St. area, and about a few blocks around my house! I often heard my Dad say things like..... "Wow, look at that Negro driving that tractor-trailer truck!" What did that mean? Didn't this happen a lot? Apparently not... Mom would come in from shopping downtown.... "Wow, they have a Colored girl on the cash register at Leggetts!" Dad would say, "I hope she doesn't steal anything, because it will be a million years before they hire another one!" This brought another strange look from me? I was 10 when Martin Luther King came to Lynchburg, and spoke at E.C. Glass in 1961, and I don't remember anyone saying anything about it? Mom would take me to Woolworths downtown shopping and we would have to enjoy our root beers standing in the isle? There were benches that were empty there, but she said we couldn't go and sit down? Why....I thought? It didn't bother me, my root beer tasted just as good standing up! Dad would take me to the Warner Theater when there was a monster picture I wanted to see that was not at the Harrison Theater. I would be upset because we had to sit in the balcony! I wanted to see Godzilla, Rodan, and Frankenstein up close and personal! I do know that a Civil Rights incident caused me to get a good spanking? Ok....We were all going to Washington, DC to spend a few days with my cousins. Kemper St. train station was a typical building at the time. It had 4 bathrooms and 2 water fountains. This was a hot summer day, the temperature was in the 90's. Dad's took me to the bathroom and I noticed that there were signs said White men, Colored men, White women, Colored women.....ok..... I did notice that the door to the White restrooms were neat and on the hinges, and the others were had to lift the door as you opened it! The Flush lever was broken, and was straight out the side of the tank! I didn't care, I had to go! We all then sat down to wait on the train in the waiting room, which was a little late. After a while, I told Dad that I was thirsty and was going to the water fountain.....he said ok!? After a bit, Dad was the one that said....."OH NO!" He looked up and saw the water fountain. The one that had the sign Colored was just a white bowl  with an off-on handle you had to keep pushing down to get water. You almost had to touch your lips to the bowl because the pressure was so weak! The other one, which said White,  was a silver and black fountain with a motor in it like a refrigerator! I want you to guess which one I was drinking from!! At the time we were the only one in the waiting room..... Dad grabbed me and before I knew it, I had a belt hitting my short pants! I know now that visions of Emmitt Till, passed through his mind! Dad would tan my hide so bad that the kids up the street would start crying! I really needed an explanation, this time I knew I hadn't done anything wrong! Between lashes, Dad said "You are drinking out of the wrong know better!!" But I didn't....I said "But Dad, But Dad, that water over there was nice and cold!!"



Everyone....before you read this, it is rated "dirty!" I started not to write it, but it is so "us!" There was a new soft drink on the market that was a instant hit! "Mountain Dew!" All of us couldn't get enough of the little green bottle! Ok....lets sing...."Now eveybody loves that Mountain Dew.....Ma and Pa and all the young-uns too!" I forgot what's next! I was the grunt and the go-for, being the youngest on the projectionist club at Dunbar High School. I always ended up going to Dinks grocery store across the street and pick up a six pack of Mt. Dew for the guys! Ok.....heres the story. This happened a lot. My gang would be gathered right up the street enjoying a good old Mt. Dew just purchased from Simmons Grocery. Before you knew it....out of the bushes jumped Pete(not his real name), and grabbed one of us and wrestled the Mt. Dew from one of us! Pete would run down the street drinking the Mt. Dew with the victim crying and chasing behind him! By the time he got it back, most of the drink would be gone! By the way, don't sit the bottle down...that was an easy swipe! We protected our precious soda as best we could, but you better believe it would soon happen again...and we were getting sick and tired of it!! This had to stop, so we got this idea.... We got an empty Mt. Dew bottle and each of us did a number 1 (P) in the bottle till it was full. (P) was the same color as Mt. Dew....ok you knew that!? We even put it in the refrigerator to get it cold....I put it way in the back or else I would get another "OH NO!" Anyway the next day came, and we went to the store and got our Dews! We had hid the (P) bottle down the street and picked it up like nothing was wrong. After a while, somebody said..."Here he comes.....get ready... We made sure that he grabbed the "right" bottle! Pete grabbed the cold (P) bottle and started running down the street....wait for it....wait for it......he turned it up...........I think he got a few good swallows in before he realized what had happened! Pete was spitting, cursing, fell down running! All of us were rolling around on the ground laughing!! Pete wanted to whip us good, but he was too busy getting sick...... Nobody saw Pete for a while....I wonder why??


(click here) for more childhood tales! 

Web Hosting Companies