Patriotism circa 1973

Happy Birthday, America!
I’ve been busy scanning old family pictures for our upcoming reunion in Portland. Just last night I found these timely beauties.

This is taken in the back yard. That very patriotic man there is my Dad and he’s sitting on a small overturned watering trough next to my Mom. That’s me in the back. I’m 7 years old. The same age B is right now. And that is our dog Nikki. We had to have him put to sleep some time after this picture. I was crushed.

Same players but add my little sister and our neighbors the Chilcot’s. One of those boys is Jimmy and the other is Billy but I can’t remember which for the life of me. I know I had a big crush on the snotty-looking one standing next to me. But in retrospect, hoo-boy, isn’t the older one much, much cuter?

I just love these pictures. I remember it like it was just yesterday. They capture my childhood perfectly. These were happy, golden days. There were many kids in the neighborhood which was not always the case. I would ride my bike down the street pretending it was my horse (the Black Stallion, I think). My parents had close friends there also. Summer evenings were filled with easy conversation, iced tea and lawn chairs down by the garden. There was the occasional poker night when I could catch a glimpse of the people my parents used to be before we came into the picture…

Wow. Taking this little stroll down Memory Lane makes me realize how important it is as parents to maintain an identity beyond your children. Those memories of my parents socializing with their friends are when I remember them the happiest.

Parenting can be such a stern proposition sometimes. There are times when it feels like I haven’t been able to goof with B for weeks because of this behavior or that. I hate to think that he might look back on his childhood and only remember a stern task-master or disciplinarian.

Maybe Daddy-O or I need to go track down a nice patriotic outfit just to lighten things up around here…


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