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Memories of Vineland, New Jersey

Things I remember as a kid growing up in Vineland NJ

  1. The fresh smell of the grasses in the meadow behind the house on a warm spring morning. (early 1960’s)
  2. Lying in bed listening to the call of the whippoorwill early in the morning from the meadow behind the house. (early 1960’s)
  3. Coming home with stray dogs and begging to be allowed to keep them. (regularly)
  4. The smell of liquid chicken manure poured on the farms on a hot summer night (P EEE UUU). (early 60’s)
  5. Mounting the old “Cub Cadet” and cutting the grass all the while hoping the belt didn’t come off when I was too far from the house. (60’s and 70’s)
  6. Looking for golf balls behind the house from the A&B Par 3 golf course, and setting up a stand to sell them back to the golfers who lost them as “real bargains”. (early 60’s)
  7. Planting my first garden of radishes and waiting anxiously for weeks till they sprouted. (late 50’s early 60’s)
  8. Picking strawberries on Dominic Lisi’s farm on N. Delsea Dr for 5 cents a pint and getting all scratched. I think I made 50 cents for a days work. (mid 60’s)
  9. Riding Rosies “Honda 90” around the golf course and falling and breaking my arm one summer afternoon. (summer 68)
  10. Waking up early on a Saturday morning in the summer and taking my mini bike and riding with bobby all day all over the place. (Mid 60’s)
  11. Lighting fireworks down in the gravel pit with a time fuze and listening for them to go off while we waited on our front porch. (60/70)
  12. Going to grand moms on Sunday morning after church and watching the Phillies until 1PM when the macaroni was ready then enjoying as the entire family gradually came over to sit down and eat (60’s)
  13. Going to grand mom B’s and sitting on her back porch and listening to the sounds of all the creatures as the day ended. (60/70’s)
  14. Using the “outhouse” at grand mom B’s before she had an indoor toilet. (late 50’s)
  15. Learning to drive in the ’57 Pontiac on the golf course by going around and around in circles for hours on end. (71 to 72)
  16. Lying in the hammock under the mimosa tree on a hot summer day. (mid 60’s)
  17. Daddy taking us for a drive in the car at night in the ’57 Pontiac with the windows all down in an effort to “cool us off” before we went to bed. (Pre A/C days) (early 60’s)
  18. Throwing cherries at my mom and dads car from the side of the road when the windows were down and scaring my mom so badly that my dad stopped the car and beat me with his belt so I couldn’t sit for a week. (late 60’s)
  19. Visiting Two Guys dept store with my parents and spinning a “wizzer” top as fast as I could and setting it on my moms head to spin only to have the top grab on to her hair pull out a large chunk of hair and scalp. (mid 60’s)
  20. My dad witnessing the event in #19 and hitting me in the head with a box of “paint by numbers set” only to have the little containers of paint fly all over the toy dept. (same)
  21. Spending a week in Wildwood NJ with Bobby and his family on the boardwalk. ( summer of 1967)
  22. Winning a carton of Kool cigarettes at a numbers game on the boardwalk and smoking the entire carton in less than a day. (same)
  23. Remembering how badly my tongue burned after I smoked the cigarettes. (ditto)
  24. My first beer at the Grove tavern with Larry and Carlo and Gildo and Joe. (1972)
  25. The safety and security I felt as a kid knowing I had a loving family who would always be there for me. (growing up through the 60’s and 70’s)
  26. Realizing when it was time for me to grow up and move out of my parents house. (1977)
  27. Coming home from a bad baseball game gone bad when my mom had kept supper warming for me. When I told her I wasn’t hungry, she promptly dumped the entire bowl of spaghetti on my head and said “if you don’t eat it you’ll wear it”. (mid 60’s)
  28. Sweeping up in the laurel house for my grandmother. (early 60’s)
  29. Baking sweet potatoes on the stove in the laurel house. (same)
  30. Christmas in the laurel house with what seemed like 60 relatives all talking and smoking at the same time. Big bowls of macaroni with anchovies, zeppoles with anchovies and without anchovies, antipasto, bowls of steamed shrimp, soda by the gallons, beer by the keg, my grandfather at the head table always smiling and looking out over his familia. (60’s and 70’s)
  31. Thanksgiving at grand mom B’s with all the rest of the family. Playing outside with Joanie and Elaine, running through the woods, playing with Tiny and Rusty and Regina. Grandmom and Mom and Aunt Helen cooking downstairs and upstairs and packing so many people into the house that after we ate no on could move to escape if needed. (60’s and 70’s)
  32. Sitting through a demonstration of Joanie’s and Elaine’s Christmas gifts which always seemed to last soooooooooooo long. (same)
  33. Watching Joanie eat her food which also seemed to last sooooooooooooooooo long. (same)
  34. The big airplane propeller that hung in Uncle Bud’s garage. (late 50’s and 60’s)
  35. Collecting baseball cards, trading them, clipping the “doubles” in the spokes of the bike and making the sound of a “motorcycle” (mid 60’s).

July 31, 2008 Posted by | Vineland NJ | | 2 Comments



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