mellicious: pink manicure (Mel - snow)
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I looked at the Billboard list for 1965 and zeroed right in on a song I wanted to talk about for Music Advent, because I loved this song so much at one point in my childhood: Downtown, as seen above. I'm pretty sure it was not 1965 that I'm thinking about, it was a little later on, like maybe '67 or 68, though. I remember us dancing around my grandmother's house to this song, but I don't think I was 5 at the time. (For one thing, my grandmother lived too far away to visit much, when we were in West Texas.)

In 1965, we started out in Snyder, Texas, as I talked about yesterday, and at some point before the start of the school year we moved to Lamesa, Texas, which is somewhat larger but still kind of out in the middle of nowhere. (I don't know what it's like nowadays, because I haven't been out that way in years and years, but in the 1960s, even the biggest towns in that part of Texas, like Lubbock and Amarillo, were not very big. It was all pretty much the middle of nowhere by the standards of people who are used to cities.) I went to kindergarten in Lamesa - I think I have a picture of that so I'll throw that in below. I'm not sure any more if my parents bought the house we lived in or rented it, but it was much bigger and newer than the rent-house in Snyder was so I'm inclined to say they bought it. (By which I mean it was a 60s-standard 3-bedroom ranch house, like the new house we had lived in the year before and the one we lived in later on, too. 4-bedrooms were more expensive, I only remember families with a bunch of kids having those back in the day.)

Here's Lamesa on Wikipedia. The whole county didn't even have quite 15,000 people in it as of 2010, and almost all of them live in Lamesa. So yeah, still very small.

I remember a lot more about Lamesa than I do about Snyder. I remember that there was a cotton field behind our back yard and I was pretty fascinated by that. Our house had a cement-brick fence around it on three sides - all the houses in our subdivision did. I think it must have been because of the sandstorms (or maybe so you didn't have to look at the cotton field!) but I'm not entirely sure. I do remember watching a sandstorm through the window, not that it was very interesting to watch! My mother said later that there were also tornadoes and funnel clouds pretty regularly. I don't have any conscious memory of seeing those, but for years after we lived there I had nightmares about tornadoes, so I'm guessing I probably did see some. Oh, and that cement-brick fence was just wide enough for a kid to walk on easily, and just high enough - 5 feet, maybe, or it could have been 6 - to drive mothers crazy trying to keep the kids from doing it. And to make it worse, the fence started at about 3 feet on the sides of the house and it stairstepped up to the full height in back, so it was extremely easy to get up there. I was always afraid of heights so I don't remember getting up on the highest part much, but I remember other kids doing it all the time. (There were 3 little boys more or less our age that lived in the house next door to us; we got in a lot more trouble because of them than we ever would have thought up on our own.)

That line in the title (the first part, that is) is from "Deep in the Heart of Texas" for those of you who don't know that already. That song is not, to my knowledge, from 1965, but I quoted it because I remember going to some kind of church function, a cookout kind of thing, probably, that was out in the country and I remember how big and bright the stars really were. It was the first time I had seen the Milky Way. (It also makes a nice contrast with today's song talking about the neon city lights, doesn't it? I didn't plan ahead to do that, I just remembered the thing about the stars when I started thinking about that time.)

My kindergarten class
(I'm one of the three with red coats. I don't remember the name of that blond kid next to me, but I remember him. Most of the rest of them don't stick in my mind so much. We moved so much in those years that the kids all blend together. Also, it looks like my mother attempted to curl my hair that day. It never would hold a curl, much.)

Oh, I know one more thing - it snowed that winter, and we didn't have any snow-boots or gloves so my mother improvised with plastic bread-bags. There used to be some pictures of that but I apparently never scanned them. I bet I have them somewhere, though.


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April 2019


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