Many of you commented about my spending my teenage years growing up in a cemetery…I’m sure some of you figure this accounts for some of my strangeness…It probably was the reverse…My strangeness allowed me to find some humor and lots of fun living amongst the tombstones….(pretend there is some scary music playing now…like the theme from the Movie, “Halloween”.…would you believe I have that as a ringtone on my cell phone?? Of course you would!!)
We moved to Sandwich In 1960, when I was 12. My Dad was a milkman for Modern Dairy in Elgin, IL. (Yes, I AM the proverbial “milkman’s daughter”…) Dad got a chance to manage a skating rink in Sandwich. You must be told here that my Dad was a huge roller skater…we all grew up on skates and frequently went to the local skating rink in South Elgin, where my Dad was a floor guard. My older sister, Darlene, had her wedding reception there……I know I have probably lost most of you …Sometime I will give you some more history of our roller skating family…
At any rate, the skating rink thing went belly-up in 1962, and we lost all our money. Dad needed another job…FAST…He tried factory work, but didn’t like it…So when someone told him the local cemetery needed a “live in” caretaker, he looked it over …and took the job.(Does the movie “The Shining” come to mind…caretaker…haunted…??) We (myself, my little brother, and Mom and Dad) moved into the caretaker’s house at Oak Ridge Cemetery on the edge of Sandwich..I was 14 years old…At first I was not really fond of the idea, but I got the room with the balcony, so I was pacified. I also thought living in a cemetery would give me some cool, chilly and daring status as a High School Freshman. High School Freshman need all the help they can get!!!
I lived there until Den and I married in 1969. Let me just tell you it is a major problem to get a boyfriend to come pick you up at the cemetery….What I really found neat was that in the spring, the workers who mowed the grass and trimmed the place were mostly teenage boys who needed a summer job. I kept a watch from my balcony to see the new crop of boys every spring…I also tried to screen the ones who were not “hot” looking ..but my Dad put the kibosh on that . He knew my ulterior motives..
I had an awesome Jr. Class Halloween party out there….Oh my God it was fun!!!! My parents helped me decorate the garage all creepy inside. Cobwebs hanging everywhere.. I was good friends with the girl whose Dad owned the monument business (you know, tombstones). Between her dad , my dad and the local undertaker, we managed to scrounge up a casket…Patsy, that was her name, put on the ghoul /zombie make up and we laid her out in the casket down in the crypt…My Dad gave ghost walks to the crypt, and when he took the unsuspecting kids inside, Patsy would pop up out of the casket and scare the _____ out of them!!!
I am in the process of organizing some old AND new photos so I can put them on my blog…It is taking longer than I thought, but I am digging through our archives in the basement…Rest assured I WILL post them soon! In case you are wondering, the photos of today’s post were taken in Gilham ,Arkansas at an Army Corps campground…We had NO cell phone service, but lots of great wildlife!!!!
I am sorry I haven’t commented on anyone’s blog in a while…lots going on..more bad news on my sister and it seems there are not enough hours in the day to do what I love..blog!! Hang in there..I’m trying to find my way back to “bloggersville”…..Thanks for hangin’ in and hangin’ on!!!!