Looking Back, Going Home

These photos were taken, I think, in 2004, 2005, or both (soon after Al bought our first digital camera), on trips to the home town. My father was the cemetery caretaker during the summer beginning, I think, when I was in jr. high school. My brother and I worked for a dime an hour as his assistants, getting the cemetery ready for Memorial Day observances, and then the rest of the summer as needed for general grounds keeping. We continued those jobs until employed by the city as assistant swimming instructor (me) or lifeguard (brother).

The town is a bedroom community now, but when I was going to school there, I think the population total was around 1,200. The fringes are built up, but the “old” town is pretty much the same as it was when I lived there, more than 50 years ago.

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5 thoughts on “Looking Back, Going Home

    1. They were good years. We pretty much ran wild, those years, outside of school and part-time jobs. (I used to sell greeting cards and stationery door-to-door to pay for my week of music camp/clinic in Bemidji every August in addition to working for my father at the cemetery and the few hours put in for helping with swimming lessons). Summers, we left in the morning and sometimes didn’t get home until after dark. We wandered out in the pastures and along the river. I hitchhiked to and from the nearby state park and, in another direction, a good swimming lake. And there was a local train (commuter) on which I could pay a small fare and go into the “city” to wander Broadway, buy my own burger and milk shake at the five & dime, and seek out other assorted adventures. I loved getting totally out on my own, away from everyone I knew, and discovering new places and things. Life certainly has changed from when the oldest of us kids were growing up in the 50s and 60s.

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      1. That does sound pretty special. I got to wander a few blocks, but not much further. Hilo’s bus system is awkward to use, and my balance prevented both bike riding and car driving, so I was limited by how far I wanted to walk. Still, that included access to the river at a couple of points. {pause} I’m not sure how I feel about that now, since it’s an uncommonly deadly river, but I don’t think my parents realized quite how bad it was back then. It took me noticing and remembering the mortality statistics – plus a couple of long helicopter searches for lost swimmers – to make it really sink in for any of us. {lop-sided Smile}

        Anyway, I did get to wander around and visit friends, but no where near as much as you did. I guess it’s different times, plus a different place. {Smile}

        A.E.B.

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