Growing up in Margaret Place was like living in TV show, Leave It To Beaver, such an idyllic time in the 1960âs, where kids played outside until dark, very few houses had fences, our dogs played beside us without leash laws and no one had to worry about strangers.
One of my favorite things was roller skating everywhere we went, to 7-11 on Ryan Street to get deposits back on glass Coke or 7-Up bottles so we could head over to Bordenâs to get a 6 cent orange or grape popsicle, or a 5 cent scoop of ice cream in a real sugar cone. Two scoops were 10 cents and if I had babysitting money (at 50 cents an hour) I would sometimes splurge on a Hot Fudge Sundae with chocolate instead of vanilla ice cream! Oh my, I can still remember those wonderful flavors of ice cream all those ladies behind the counter served us through the years. Sorry Blue Bell, but you donât even come close to the Lake Charles Bordenâs ice cream!!!
Another fun summer event was to have a lemonade stand on Wilson Street but we quickly found out we made more money on Park Avenue where there was a lot more traffic! Uncle Doc and Aunt Nancy were very instrumental in staging our lemonade stands on Park Avenue.
My favorite clubhouse was the Shearmanâs garage with attached large rooms and of course the huge attic (only bearable in the spring and fall). Down the street the Teteâs had a nice size clubhouse/garage (Wilson Ave.) as well as the Gayleâs garage clubhouse on Grove that backed up to our backyard. By far, the Shearmanâs was my favorite clubhouse as it was the largest and the only one with a bathroom! The boys would play with their hot wheels or plastic army guys and shoot them with their BB guns and the Libby Tete, Francis Parent and I would play with our Barbie dolls and dream of playing house. Of course our favorite part was bossing around Douglas Shearman, Chris Baggett and Vernon, my little brother!
One year, at Pearl Watson, I got the idea to join 4H and raise a lamb. Now how in the world we got away with raising a lamb in the middle of the city for a year I will never know! The lamb lived in an area of our back yard where my Mother had her beautiful, small leaved, English Ivy overflowing three sides of this fence (4th side was our garage wall). The ivy was draped so beautifully over the small fence until âOkieâ arrived and proceeded to devour every inch! My Mother was not very happy with this new creature in our midst! It was a sad time when I had to show my lamb at Burton Coliseum and sell him to the local butcher. I wonder what all the neighbors thought about a lamb being walked on a leash like a dog throughout Margaretâs Place!!!?
Babysitting. From the time I was twelve until I was eighteen I babysat to save money for a new stereo system (when, of course, I wasnât buying a new pair of Clogs or ice cream at Bordenâs). When I turned 12, Nancy Shearman asked me to watch her two boys Paul and Kenneth Shearman on Wilson Ave. and I was hooked on making money at fifty cents an hour! I also babysat the Stokers and Slackâs kids, both families lived on Wilson Ave., a block apart. Those were the good old days! My rates when up to $.75/hour for more than two kids and I charged the Seibarthâs $1.00 an hour since their large brood on Watkins Street were always a hand full! Needless to say I didnât always accept their invitation to babysit unless I was desperate!
[Photo:Ann and Vernon Garber, Frances Paret, Robert or Greg Tete, one beside her, one behind, Judy Hickman, and some Burch boys.]