Remembering the house in Santa Paula made me think of how we kids used to entertain ourselves before the technology age. I thought myself fortunate to have one doll who's eyes had not been poked out by a niece or nephew. I loved my dolls, even the ones that had been maimed. One of my favorite rainy day past times was my box full of paper dolls. I remember begging momma for the old Sears & Roebuck catalogs, which was where a lot of my paper dolls came from along with the furniture I cut out for their houses. I learned early on that I could paste a picture of a chair to a piece of cardboard, cut a slit in the bottom and make a stand for them. I spent hours playing in my room pretending. I had Barbie & Ken long before someone started manufacturing them.
Outdoor games with the neighborhood kids included games like Mother May I, Simon Says, Red Rover and a favorite if there were only two of us, was Annie, Annie Over. One of us would stand in the front yard and one in back. We'd holler, Annie Annie Over and through the ball as hard as we could to clear the roof and go over the house. The person receiving would have to guess by the sound of the bounce where the ball was going to end up. Fun, Fun, Fun. Then there was always playing Hide & Seek in the scary church yard next door. Hiding in the shadows of the big stone wall or down in the basement stairs. There was this huge tree in the neighbors yard with a rope tied to one of the limbs. We used to climb up on the fence and swing off on the rope playing Tarzan & Jane, or I preferred to pretend to be Sheena of the Jungle. I still have a scar on my side where I caught a nail on that fence. I remember, too, that I could climb up easier then I could climb down. I followed the older kids up on the roof of the garage, they all climbed down, but, I was stuck, too afraid to climb down. My hero, big brother Joe, came to my rescue. He could have told me to jump off the roof of our two story house and I would have trusted him to catch me.
That reminds me of another time my hero was there when I needed him. My sister, Geneva and I had been to the library. When we came out it was pouring down rain and the wind was blowing like crazy. We had and umbrella, but, the wind turned it wrong side out. Then we finally reached our street and were standing across from our house. I looked down at the raging river that running down the gutter and had a vision of being swept away and into the drain at the end of the block. Geneva didn't have a whole lot of patience with her little sister, so she jumped the raging river and ran home leaving me there screaming in absolute terror at what I thought my fate might be. Then, there he was! Coming across the street was big brother Joe. He straddled the raging river, picked me up in his arms, gave me a comforting hug and carried me home. How I loved him.