Saturday, December 21, 2013

Skating on the frozen Lake at Collins Park in Scotia

Well, it looks like Robert isn't really skating; Dad is holding him. The others, wearing ice skates, are (left to right) John, David and Richard. David says this is at Collins Park, and I think that is right. Collins Park was also the home of the Scotia Public Library, where I frequently went. After I had finished all the Nancy Drew books and pretty much everything in the kid section, I tried to check out Drums Along the Mohawk, a historical novel that dealt with nearby history. Scotia is on the Mohawk River, a short distance upstream from the juncture with the Hudson. The librarian wouldn't let me have it. My mother soon visited the library and had a note put on file that I could check out anything I wanted. This was my first experience of library policies toward children, and one of the things (besides my GREAT love of reading) that steered me toward my work as a librarian.

This is a picture of ALL my brothers with our father. You can see how close in age they are. It really looks cold, too. The snow isn't melting.  But I do remember being outside in the snow a lot. My parents both grew up in Arizona, so their childhoods hadn't included snow play. See the snowpants the boys are wearing? One pulled them on over one's other pants; it was hard to do without adult help. Since I was, at this time, a sub-adult, I did a lot of this winterwear clothing and unclothing for the boys. In the back entrance of the house on First Street, was a sort of small room where we hung wet wooly stuff to dry. It was before the time of synthetics, so most of this stuff was heavy wool, which had a tendency to get soggy. After a good day of play there was stuff hanging everywhere. If you were lucky, the wool socks, mittens, hats, pants and scarves were dry enough to use when you next needed them. I remember drying mittens, especially, on the radiators inside the house. The galoshes had a sort of felted lining that often stayed wet for days, and chafed a red ring around your calves in the coldest weather. Cold weather clothing has been much improved since the 1940s. The most useful items were the socks (especially for skating) and mittens that Mom knitted. Mine were bright blue, a pair of each. She did a few hats, too.

Robert was born in 1945, so this looks like it could be the winter of 1947. Although that would make John (the oldest boy here) seven and a half, and he really doesn't look that old. What do you think??

This was an example of a memory thread. Try this: take an old family picture and write down everything it suggests to your memory. Memories will unravel! Happy Holidays!

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