Every once and a while, I like to write a post unrelated to bullying. Posts about certain times in my childhood that were awesome. I went out to run errands the other day and a song came on the car stereo that really took me back in time. It’s funny how songs can remind you of certain times in your life.
The song was “Couldn’t Get It Right” by the Climax Blues Band and I remember it being on the radio when I was about four, maybe five.
Those were awesome times! My dad was in the Army and we lived in Anniston, AL, near Ft. McClellan, where we were stationed that year.
Every year, Daddy would get a 30-day furlough, so, twice per year, during the summer and then again during the Christmas holidays, we would pile up in our VW micro bus and make the eight hour trip to Tennessee to visit the rest of the family for two weeks.
Those trips were awesome! Mom would take plush blankets, pillows, and comforters and fix my brother and me a makeshift bed in the very back of the van to sleep on, should we get sleepy during the long trips to and from.
Many times, my brother and I would fall asleep back there late in the evening. I remember waking up again after dark and looking up at the stars through the back window as we drove down the highway, headed north.
My maternal grandmother lived in a big, two-story house and during those visits, she’d invite the whole family to get together. She’d invite my dad’s family too, all the aunts, uncles, and cousins would come over and everyone would get together and have a ball!
Uma, Grandma, Mom, Dad and all the grown-ups would play cards or board games while we kids ran around and played.
“Uma,” as we called her, could always throw some fabulous parties! God rest her soul, she was an excellent host! How I miss her now! She truly helped create some wonderful memories!
Nobody ever got drunk there. A few of the men would drink a few beers but they knew their limit as they knew Uma wouldn’t tolerate any foolishness in her house.
There were mainly plenty of soft drinks, food, and snacks we’d munch on. And music! There was always music! During our Christmas parties, we played all the Christmas classics. When Uma threw New Year’s Eve parties and family get togethers during the summer, we would play plenty of disco and rock and roll songs.
When I hear the songs today, it immediately takes me back. Lord, we’d have so much fun together at these family shindigs!
Uma’s kitchen was so big that people would get up and dance to the music. In fact, we practically lived in her kitchen. How I wish I could go back and do it all again!
Back then, disco and rock n roll were dominating the airwaves and movies like “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Food of the Gods” were hitting the box office. Kids my age would get up early every Saturday morning to watch “The Bugs Bunny Roadrunner Show,”, “Super Friends,” “Popeye” or “The Flintstones.”
Every Halloween, kids dressed up as their favorite ghoul and went trick-or-treating and it never occurred to anyone that Halloween was the Devil’s holiday. No one made a fuss over it and only saw it as an opportunity for kids to have fun and collect a bag full of candy to feast on for the next few months.
Everyone said “The Pledge of Allegiance” and “The Lord’s Prayer” at school every morning before class would begin and no one took offense to it. Back then, everyone felt free to be themselves!
Those times were so amazing! I can’t help but feel sorry for all the kids today. If only they could get a taste, a little glimpse of how awesome times were back in the late twentieth century!
Sometimes I wish it was still 19-something! Because back then, times were awesome and you were proud to be alive and to be an American! Being attacked by foreign terrorists on our own soil was unheard of!
The Vietnam War had ended a few years before and we were living in a time of peace and prosperity! Sure, we had our problems in society but they were nowhere near like the problems we have today!
Back then, kids could be kids and we could safely walk down the street at night and sleep with our windows open to let the cool night breeze blow in and lightly caress our bodies as we slept. The world was much safer (and freer) back then.
And those parties and get-togethers! Words can’t describe how amazing and fun they were! They are some of my best memories!
The songs I have here are a few of the songs we played at our parties- the songs that really stick out in my mind and allow the good memories to flood in.
Yes, I have some terrible memories from school as a teenager, but as a little kid, the world was full of magic and wonder, and it’s the great memories that seem to provide a good balance to everything!
I will always be grateful to Uma, Grandma, Mom, Dad, my aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins for helping to create good times to balance the bad.
We were truly blessed to live during such great times and to have the closeness and togetherness we all had as a family. Many of my relatives have since passed away and I miss them to the moon and back. But I smile when I think of them, and of all the wonderful memories of the love and festivities at Uma’s house!