When I was in second grade, we moved to Springfield, a couple of blocks from Centennial Elementary School. We lived in a modest and nice little neighborhood made up of ranch houses on a quiet street. We were renting ours. It backed up to a big field with power lines. The field backed up to a drainage canal, that backed up to where 1-105 is now. There was a lot to explore, and room to roam.
We had our dog Bambi, the fighter. He was probably a pit-bull mix, but we didn't know anything about pit-bulls back in the day. He loved to get loose and fight the big dogs. We also had our cat Candy, who loved my sister Angie the most. Candy had kittens in the bathroom, and I got to watch the birth because I was old enough. It was an honor. Then the kittens got big and started going poop inside my Dad's recliner. He got really mad about that one day, and tossed the chair out the front door. I thought it was pretty funny.
There were kids galore in that neighborhood. My best friends were Shawn C., Teresa R., Wesley, and Kari M.. Teresa and I stayed friends for a long time, even after we all moved to other places. Her mom and dad were so nice, Mary Lou and Neal, and they took us camping on the Rouge River and we went swimming in Lost Lake. Once, during the winter they filled a swimming pool with warm water in the garage so that we could play in it. That was a lot of effort to please two little girls. Mary Lou loved the 1968 song "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro Now listen to that and see if that doesn't make you cry.
Kari M. didn't live in our immediate neighborhood; I had to ride my bike about a mile to get to her house. It was safe enough in those days for kids to do things like that. I didn't know it at the time, but I was riding by Nancy Kesey's house, where she had hidden her brother Ken's bus, "Further" in her barn. The Kesey's owned The Springfield Cremery, home of Nancy's Yogurt for years and years now. Anyway, Kari had a very nice family too. I remember that she had long, thick hair, and that I loved her name so much that I named my firstborn after her. True story. My Kari has thick hair too.
So, on to the picture of all the retro candy, which is my writing prompt for this post. (Wow, a couple of months ago, I'd never even heard of a writing prompt! Since I began my blog, I have searched Bing and other search engines for graphics and then they prompt me to write a story about them. I just didn't know there was an official term for that practice.) Anyway, we had a little store behind Centennial school called The Rainbow Market. Mom would give us some money, about a dollar for the four of us was more than enough back then. We moved from there when I was in 5th grade, so my siblings were pretty young. I probably went with my friends and brought back candy for everybody else.
Candy was cheap in those days. A Chico-Stix, my favorite, was only 5 cents. Seriously. They had candy cigarettes, and candy necklaces ... all kinds of good stuff that looked similar to the candy above. Sometimes we bought Cracker Jacks and ice cream bars there. The Rainbow Market set the stage for my love of little stores. So did my Grandma and Grandpa T.'s little store, The Riverview Market, on old River Road between Eugene and Junction City. I'll do a story on that another time.
There was a boy from my school that lived right by The Rainbow Market. His name was Cody. His hair was kind of long and shaggy. One time I parked my bike out front of the store, went in and bought my candy, and when I came out my bike was gone! I walked around and found it at Cody's house. Knowing me, I probably knocked on the door to ask for it back instead of just taking it. At any rate, I went inside Cody's and could not believe my eyes. There were velvet paintings of naked ladies, right there in the living room! Boobies right there for those little boys to see all day long. It was nasty! That was the word we used back then for things like that, back when candy was only 5 cents.
One more little story about The Rainbow Market, before I let you go. The winter before we moved from Springfield to Eugene was the winter of The Big Snow . We hardly ever got more than 1" of snow a winter, and that year we got 4' all at once. The whole city closed down, it seemed, except for the hospital. I know that, because my mom as a nurse and the National Guard had to come and get her in their army jeep. Very impressive. My Dad and all the other dads didn't have to go to work though. They couldn't, because the roads were unsafe and everything was closed. So, they loaded us all up (the smallest kids were on the sled), and we all went to The Rainbow Market for milk, bread and beer. And probably for candy cigarettes. Come to think of it, probably for real cigarettes. On the way back the fathers carried their babies, pulled the groceries on the sled, and we tromped home through the snow. That was so much fun, for little 10-year-old Kathy. Me.
|Source: Ken Kesey Photos @ Bing.com|
You Tube Video of The Big Snow:
The Big Snow: Elmira, Oregon
|Source: Live Images|
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