Growing Up A Country Boy  

howaboutahuck 67M
227 posts
8/31/2006 12:24 pm

Last Read:
9/7/2006 5:35 am

Growing Up A Country Boy

Chapter One
Across Kensington Rd.

I was born in January 13, 1951 in Oak Park Illinois. At the young age of four, my family moved to a little farming town called Mt. Prospect, IL. Were this story begins.
At this time there were only the four of us brothers, Rick the oldest, Bill thirteen months older than me, yours truly and John a two year old. My youngest brother Bruce and my sister Carol came along later.
My house was the first one built on my block and my father worked for the construction company that was building the subdivision. When I climbed up on the kitchen counter and looked out the window, there was nothing but corn fields as far as you could see. A mile south of us you could see the Chicago & Northwestern railroad tracks, where we could see the steam locomotives puffing their way form Chicago to Harvard and back again. The only other buildings you could see were the farmer’s house, barn and silo three blocks southwest of us and the new (at the time) high school eight blocks due west. My back yard was literally a corn field. That didn’t last long though, at the rate the new houses went up all the corn disappeared from behind our house within a year. But it took quite a while for the town to build up to were all the corn disappeared.
The more houses that went up the more new people moved in to our neighborhood, and with every move in the number of kids on the block grew. There were kids everywhere, of all sizes. I can go there today an rattle off the names of the people that lived in each house.
Our street ended one block to the north at Kensington Rd. were the corn fields started again. Crossing over into the field there was a long line of maple trees that divided the corn field from a very large black berry patch, an open field and a swamp with a billboard sign right in the middle. This became our playground. We built a tree fort using wood that we collected from the construction site half way up one of the maple trees, we made a series of tunnels under the black berry patch by twisting the branches up and out of the way so you could crawl on you knees all over that patch, and we made wooden pathway out into the swamp to the billboard were we found that we could climb up the back of it using the electrical conduit to shimmy up to an 8x8 plank that ran the hole length of the sign. Once on top we could sit on that plank and lean our elbows on the top and look out over the fields for miles. There was a long metal tray on top that we filled with rocks with the help of a rope, pulley and a bucket. On the other side of the tree line was a stretch of corn with a big pile of tree branches in the center and the farmer’s barn yard. When we discovered that pile of branches, we decided that this us a great place to make a ground fort, so we tunneled out the inside and added all the branches we pulled out to the top of the pile and lined the floor with cardboard form a refrigerator box . Soon there was enough room for eight kids in there. Our next fort was made by hollowing out the farmers hay stack that was piled ten feet high and twenty feet wide against the back of the barn. We made our entrance by the barn wall wide enough to allow a small boy to enter. You would think that there couldn’t be any place else for us to find to play, well there it was, the silo, standing so tall with a built in ladder running up the outside to a door with a ladder on the inside too. We climbed to the top, opened the door and climbed down inside and closed the door. The silo was half filled with corn kernels and we could sit there all day if we wanted. Of course there were some dangers, every time the farmer saw us on his property he would chase us with a shot gun filled with rock salt. We would always duck into one of our forts or into the tunnels under the black berry patch and lay still and very quiet until he gave up and went away. This was always the best place when the berries were in season, we could eat and hide at the same time.
All these places of sanctuary were part of my childhood for a long, long time. And the friendships that grew in them will never be forgotten.

Did you make forts as a kid? Where and out of what materials?

Did you have a large open area to call your playground?

Did you have a group of friends that spent the hole day together and seemed to move in a pack.

Can you go back to the site of your childhood and name all the people that lived there?


howaboutahuck 67M
489 posts
9/1/2006 4:56 am

    Quoting rm_mzhunyhole:
    OOhh yeah..I had 7 brothers,we did that all the time...we lived right on the edge of the woods..a great big playground...I ain't real good at remembering names so probably not...I'm pure country.
Hi,Mz Huny
Wasn't it great to be able to just walk out your door and step into a world where your imagination ruled what and where your adventures would take you for the day.


rm_sexxikritter 53F
2715 posts
9/1/2006 8:51 am

OK, this is weird. I swear you posted this on the 30th and I made a comment about my neighborhood while growing up. Please tell me I'm not going nutz?

howaboutahuck 67M
489 posts
9/1/2006 12:17 pm

    Quoting rm_sexxikritter:
    OK, this is weird. I swear you posted this on the 30th and I made a comment about my neighborhood while growing up. Please tell me I'm not going nutz?
Hi, Kritter
Ya! I posted it again to put it back on top of my posts so that it would be the first thing read. Pretty vain don't you think. There is a method to madness.


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