Life was bliss growing up on King Street!
I made my entrance into this world two years into the 1960s, in the month of October. A few of the naysayers were crying out the end of the world. Nothing on my account, but Khrushchev was hell-bent on putting missiles in Cuba and Kennedy wasn’t about to budge. This was to become known as, among a host of other titles, the October Crisis of 1962. Things worked themselves out, I didn’t expire from life in the ‘fast lane’ in those crucial first days but have lived long enough to gain some experiences to pen a few, maybe somewhat interesting, opinion columns. My goal is to produce yet another, maybe this one.
Times were good running up and down the street for us. We are the survivors of that season. It is true there were days when bike helmets and car safety belts were not thought much about. I have a fading scar prominent on my forehead to prove it. One of the King Street perks, Mom snatched me up in her arms and high-tailed it across the pavement to Doc Johnson’s office for stitches. He was also responsible for bringing me into this world, quite a few of us for that matter. We rode in the back of a Ford pickup to Bonneview, at the foot of Snow Mt, and back many times. Our bikes were our transportation, and we did skedaddle home when the streetlights came on. A few of the wonders of a bygone era.
One of the most interesting things I developed during those formative years on King Street was a sense for family. Mine was never limited to anyone under one roof. Feet got us to grandparents around the block on Pendleton to the Denhardts or down Tenth to the Arens. What made things special was that the family extended next door to the Spyres, a few houses down to the Ornbauns, and caddy-corner across the way to the Howes. I experienced waterskiing for the first time on Black Butte. My first dollars were earned mowing the lawn and feeding Cricket. I learned to be a good person with the help of these people. I will boast a bit, I don’t think they did too badly.
Not everyone can brag that they had the number of Moms and Dads we did growing up on King Street. I look forward to the reunion on the other side of the veil plenty of days down the road. I can’t say enough of what it means today when our paths cross. My heart is somewhat tender on receipt of two old snapshots recently (circa 1968) of King Street moments transporting me down memory lane. One is of our earliest rides. Times were good; it came equipped with a chauffeur! As long as I did not offend her, our journey was limited only by how fast and how long she could pedal that third wheel. I will ever be grateful and appreciative for the family on King Street.
Events took me away from good ol’ King Street, and eventually out of the county. Others brought us back. Thanks to the current world situation, life isn’t moving at a breakneck pace. One positive outcome, we can slow down a step or two and contemplate the good to remember what is important. We hear it takes a village to raise a child; I can never buy into that. I will most emphatically declare that it takes a Stake! Family is of evermore import to me. My second grandchild, my first grandson just made his way into the world. My wish is that they find their King Street. Godspeed.